Working in a fast food restaurant has been a part of millions of Americans’ lives at one point or another. Though I’ve had the seldom occurrence where the food’s actual preparation was flawed, the more common errors I experience come from the human element at the drive-thru window (mis)taking my order. So, of course, the company Momentum Machines has invented a machine that replaces fast food line cooks, while doing nothing for the communication factor. Maybe I’m only in a negative mood because I want one of these for myself.
Coinciding with strikes within the fast food industry over wages, the mechanical behemoth “Burgeon” boasts impressive numbers and appears to be a legitimate threat should a chain buy into the product. And assuming the results back the claims, of course. Shouldn’t Congress be up in arms about this job-killing example of efficiency?
The Burgeon can produced up to 360 burgers an hour, and slices to order toppings such as tomatoes and pickles. The company claims the device can pay for itself in less than a year, money saved on labor, and equipment sales will be a second route of business behind the actual fast food restaurant that they intend to open up. Their stated purpose is for the restaurants to spend the saved money on better ingredients for the customers’ dining pleasure, and it’s a practice they aim to fulfill when they open up shop. This is the part that intrigues me the most.
Gourmet meals at fast food prices. That’s the odd spin that Momentum is bringing to the casual dining table/booth. They boast the machine’s next revision will include custom meat grinds to fit the imagination, and also more advanced cooking methods.
Teach a computer to paint, and it probably won’t create art, but we’re talking hamburgers, where the quality of meat is what separates something fantastic from something inedible. And I can’t imagine the CEO of any fast food organization caring enough about its already underpaid employees to save them from a severance package wrapped up and shoved into a to-go bag.
“Our alpha machine replaces all of the hamburger line cooks in a restaurant.” If that isn’t the tagline for the best meal you’ve had on a Sunday afternoon driving back from your cousin’s band practice, then I’ll eat my mass-produced hat.