ST. LOUIS, Mo. – A robot may be flipping your next burger or operating the deep fryer at a fast-food restaurant. Several chains are experimenting with increasing kitchen automation because new employees are hard to find.

A national worker shortage is impacting prices and the operation of many fast-food restaurants. Signs have been spotted at some St. Louis drive-thus letting customers know that menu prices rise during overnight hours. Staffing some shifts can be difficult.

Jack in the Box is among the fast-food chains dealing with the challenges impacting operating hours and costs. They are working with Miso Robotics on a pilot program at a San Diego location. The robots may be rolled out to other locations in the future.

“From tacos and curly fries to fountain sodas, the future is now for Jack in the Box, and we are ecstatic to serve as the company’s technological arm to assure a quality product gets into its customer’s hands every time they order,” writes Mike Bell, CEO of Miso Robotics.

The “Flippy” and “Sippy” robots help cook items like fries, and chicken nuggets, plus prepare beverages. The goal is to get employees in front of customers and to spend less time in front of the fryer and drink stations.

Miso Robotics recently announced that they were installing the robots in 100 White Castle locations. The partnership began in September 2020 with the deployment of a robot at a White Castle in the Chicagoland area. The robots are being phased by region and will be added to more locations over the next few years.