• Better Days, a virtual brand assisted by robots, officially debuts today. 
  • Better Days by Remy Robotics wants to scale its wellness brand to 500 locations in five years. 
  • The restaurant joins others like Chipotle, and Sweetgreen in testing robots that perform mundane kitchen tasks.

If you're in New York City and ordering a healthy meal for delivery, there's a chance a robot might help make your meal.

Wellness food brand Better Days is officially debuting today inside Travis Kalanick's CloudKitchens commissary kitchens. The virtual brand can only be found on delivery apps like DoorDash and Uber Eats. Better Days joins restaurants like White Castle, Chipotle, and Sweetgreen in testing robots that perform mundane kitchen tasks such as assembling rice bowls, peeling avocados, and making french fries.

The Better Days menu debuting this week features wholesome dishes and vegetables such as teriyaki salmon with Szechuan green beans, tandoor chicken with turmeric cauliflower, and palak paneer with broccoli.

Remy Robotics founder and CEO Yegor Traiman left his job as an electric-vehicle engineer five years ago to launch Remy Robotics. He told Insider he wants to bring healthy, affordable meals to the masses like McDonald's scaled fast food across the US.

"One primary reason why fast food is so accessible is that 70 years ago, McDonald's invented the fast service system," said Traiman, adding that robots can help reduce the cost of fine-dining quality food.

According to the restaurant's website, dishes with a protein and vegetable side range in price from $13.15 to $15.55.

Better Days, a robot-run virtual restaurant in New York City, sells chef-driven dishes like this salmon meal. Foto: Remy Robotics

Humans make the food, but robots cook the meals

Remy Robotics, named after the aspiring rat chef in the popular Disney/Pixar animated film, "Ratatouille," piloted its automated kitchen in Europe for two years before coming to Kalanick's ghost kitchen in New York City in May.

Remy Robotics delivered food under "fake" restaurant names listed on delivery apps for several months. They settled on the brand name Better Days to reflect the ethos of the wholesome menu.

The meals are prepared in a commissary in Brooklyn by a team of cooks, including a chef who worked for both Jose Andres and former El Bulli chef Ferran Adrià.

The ready-to-cook meals are placed in a high-tech cold storage system in the ghost kitchen that integrates with Remy's robotic ovens.

After Remy receives an order, the robotics kick into gear.

A robotic arm selects the menu item from the cold storage bin. It transfers it to an oven where the food is cooked to exact specifications using AI-powered algorithms. Infrared sensors monitor the food's internal temperature to ensure each dish is cooked perfectly and consistently.

Traiman said Remy's technology is so precise that it adjusts cook times automatically for orders depending on whether they are placed for delivery or takeout. This ensures the customer gets a perfectly cooked hot food, he said.

"Robots know everything," Traiman said. "The main advantage of the robots is precision."

The only human needed is someone who can package the meal in a takeout container for the to-go customer or delivery driver.

Better Days packaging. Foto: Remy Robotics

Remy's automated kitchen can cook up to 70 dishes an hour and can fit into a 200-square-foot retail or ghost kitchen space.

The company wants to scale Better Days to more than 500 locations within five years. Like McDonald's, Traiman wants to grow through franchising. He said his automated restaurant concept should entice restaurateurs looking to cut labor costs.

"It creates a completely different type of franchising model," he said. "Young professionals will be much more focused on digital marketing and customer acquisition rather than operations because there is nothing to operate when your restaurant is autonomous."

Read the original article on Business Insider