Creator, a new burger concept out of San Francisco, may very well be the future of burger restaurants. The staff are paid $16 an hour, the burgers are custom built with fresh beef ground to order, and they only cost $6 each. How is this possible, you ask? ROBOTS.
A project eight years in the making, Creator's burger-building robot does everything in the burger construction process. It grinds the meat, grates the cheese, dispenses the sauces, toasts the buns... you get the picture. And it manages to do this all in just five minutes of you ordering your burger.
So how does Creator keep their costs so low for these robot-built burgers? "A lot of that comes from the savings on labor and kitchen space afforded by a robot cook," CEO and co-founder Alex Vardakostas told TechCrunch. “We spend more on our ingredients than any other burger restaurant."
Despite those labor cuts, employees at the restaurant are still making $16 an hour. Their focus is on service, with the possibility to make more money with maintenance and repair training on the robot system. There's also an education program in place for them, with a book budget and 5% of their time allocated to reading and learning. It'll give these food service employees a launching point to start their own careers in other fields.
Through his business model, Vardakostas is hoping to prove that you can make high-quality burgers for cheap while providing In-N-Out level care for your staff. Robots, which are a negative stigma for the fast food world, are the key to solving that.
Creator is currently open for lunch on Wednesdays and Thursdays until its public launch. There's currently only pre-set options on the menu, though future updates to the restaurant will allow for every aspect of your burger to be customized. In terms of expansion, Creator is taking it one restaurant at a time to make sure they get everything right.