Future Kitchen, which develops an unmanned automated kitchen platform, has successfully attracted strategic investment from Bonchon International, the operator of the Bonchon Chicken franchise. The investment amount is confidential.
Future Kitchen is a Korean startup that has developed a kitchen automation platform that automatically takes food orders and completes manufacturing through robots, and was established as a company-building project of Accelerator Future Play. “In a situation where manpower shortage in the F&B market is becoming serious due to rising prices and a decrease in the working age population (15-65 years old), we aim to solve the manpower shortage through technology and development of a kitchen automation system,” said the company.
Future Kitchen selected chicken as the first product to apply its kitchen automation system. It has built a robot automated chicken cooking system in its brand ‘What A Crisp’ store. The system automates tasks from accepting customers’ orders, selecting broiler parts, coating chicken batter, and frying. This reduces work from the previous three people in the Kitchen to one person.
In addition, the robots implement the recipes of Michelin chefs as desired by consumers without error, further enhancing the value of the cuisine and customized dishes tailored to the tastes of various consumers.
Bonchon International is a company started in Haeundae, Busan, in 2002. The company began with a store in the US and currently operates in 21 states in the US and eight countries internationally. It aims to increase the number of stores worldwide to 1,000 within five years, including a European store earlier this year.
Future Kitchen, which was recognized for the high growth potential of its robot technology by Bonchon International through this investment attraction, proceeded with technology verification (PoC) for business feasibility to supply chicken cooking automation systems to Bonchon Chicken stores in various countries around the world. “In the future, upon completion of the verification, we plan to strengthen cooperation with Bonchon International to expand the cooking automation system to stores in the US and Europe suffering from a serious labor shortage,” the company said.
Analyzing the cooking process and converting it into engineering parameters is the core of robot AI development. Han Sang-kwon, CEO of Future Kitchen, said, “If we build a kitchen automation system through robots, we can reduce human repetitive and dangerous labor and secure more diverse food recipes. Currently, we are trying to grow into a kitchen automation technology company by applying the know-how accumulated in the chicken cooking area to various dishes.”
Meanwhile, Future Kitchen introduced an MVP version of the automation system to the What A Crisp Garosu -gil store in July 2022 and has been operating the store with only a robot and one chef. Through the robot MVP model, the productivity of 25 per hour and recipe implementation were confirmed, and the robot was verified through more than 2,500 customer sales data. A second version is currently being developed with a target of 45 birds per hour. In addition, by establishing a robot remote control and real-time anomaly detection monitoring system, engineers can immediately respond remotely when an error occurs in the store.
- Hashed funds Korean startup Future Kitchen for its unmanned robot kitchen service
- Korean startup accelerator Future Play completes pre-IPO funding round
- FuturePlay expands footprint in Southeast Asia with investment in Singapore-based logistics platform Haulio
- Kitchen in the Lab wants to bring change in restaurant kitchens with its ready-to-cook products