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Restaurant chain unveils new concept with games, face tracking and robots

Caliburger 2.0 scheduled to open in University Village Shops in Fort Myers sometime this month.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. October 11, 2019
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Fort Myers is poised to lead the way in one area of the robot revolution — and forthcoming automated economy — and will do it with a side of fries. 

It starts with Flippy, a burger-making robot from fast-food chain CaliBurger. The chain debuted Flippy last year to great fanfare — and some chagrin from old-school burger afficiandos — and then got even more attention when Flippy had to be temporarily taken offline because it made burgers too fast for its human colleagues. Not only will Flippy will be coming to a CaliBurger location in Fort Myers, but there will be a second Flippy, who, according to a statement, will "produce crispy french fries on the fry station" while his cousin "cooks burgers to perfection on the grill."

This marks the first time there will be two Flippy robots working together simultaneously, company officials say. The Fort Myers location, scheduled to open sometime this month in University Village Shops and called Caliburger 2.0, also marks the company debut of self-ordering kiosks that incorporate PopID, a digital authentication platform that remembers previous orders and customers’ payment information. "CaliBurger guests can also play e-sports games on their mobile devices and watch the results on an interactive video wall," the release states. "These industry firsts are sure to enhance the guests' experiences while they enjoy the delicious CaliBurger food.

If all this is too sci-fi for hungry customers who just want a burger and fries, the company, in the statement, dryly notes that "a traditional ordering experience is also available with friendly staff."

CaliBurger signed an area development agreement to enter the Florida market in partnership with Jeff Burns and Tim Frederic, formerly a multi-unit McDonald's operator. "CaliBurger 2.0 is the future of food," Frederic says in the release. "Our kiosks deliver specific recommendations for our premium burger choices to customers and allow guests to pay without needing to take out their wallet a second time. Our robotic systems produce food that is higher quality, more consistent and safer." 




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