Will the next big thing since Starbucks be run by robots?
Travelers and workers at San Francisco International Airport have a new place to get coffee. Don’t expect any pleasant smiles from the staff, however, as the newest coffee stop is run completely by robotics.
Briggo Coffee’s robotic Coffee Haus lets consumers place orders using its mobile app or touchscreens at the stand (located at Terminal 3, Gate 72 at SFIA). Customers can place custom orders for cappuccinos, lattes and several gourmet coffee and tea drinks. The system can make up to 100 drinks per hour using custom whole bean blends along with fresh dairy and gourmet syrups.
The system keeps drinks ordered remotely in a locked area until the customer arrives for pickup. Coffee Haus sends a text message to the person ordering so they can unlock their drink upon arrival. With its new spot in San Francisco, Briggo now has its 40-square-foot robotic kiosks in nine locations. Each one, which can operate 24/7, can generate over $12,000 in dollar sales per square foot, according to its maker.
Briggo has teamed up with Lyft in San Francisco to promote its newest Coffee Haus. People who purchase a drink from the new location are eligible for a 15 percent discount on their next ride to or from the airport.
Briggo is not alone in trying to put robotics to work in the coffee category. The technology blog Nanalyze has reported that at least half a dozen startups from Australia, Japan, Russia and the U.S. are experimenting with their own takes on robotic baristas.
The March issue of The Economist highlights Café X, that has three locations in San Francisco that use robotic technology to prepare drinks for customers. Orders, as with Coffee Haus, can be placed via an app or touchscreen. Unlike the Briggo system, however, Café X has human attendants on hand to talk with customers.
- Briggo Brings Connected Coffee to San Francisco Airport – Briggo
- Will your next barista be a robot? – The Economist
- Can baristas keep up with their robotic challengers? – RetailWire
- Café X
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see robotics playing a more prominent role in coffee and other foodservice industries in the near future? Are there any uses of robotics, particularly inside foodservice or retail, that you think will have currency on a broad basis going forward?