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Chipotle Tests Out “Autocado” to Automate Part of Guacamole Prep
Chipotle has introduced Autocado, a prototype of a collaborative robot developed in partnership with Vebu. Autocado has been designed and built to complete prep tasks such as cutting, coring, and peeling the avocados for hand mashing to make Chipotle's signature guacamole. The device is currently undergoing testing at the Chipotle Cultivate Center in Irvine, California.
The Vebu team is currently working on enhancing the processing speeds of Autocado, with the goal of reducing guacamole preparation time by 50%. This improvement would enable Chipotle employees to dedicate more attention to serving guests and enhancing the overall customer experience.
"We are committed to exploring collaborative robotics to drive efficiencies and ease pain points for our employees," said Curt Garner, Chief Customer and Technology Officer at Chipotle. "The intensive labor of cutting, coring, and scooping avocados could be relieved with Autocado, but we still maintain the essential culinary experience of hand mashing and hand preparing the guacamole to our exacting standards."
Southeastern Grocers Donates $160,000 to Local Food Banks
Southeastern Grocers Inc., parent company of Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores, together with the SEG Gives Foundation, has donated $160,000 to eight Southeast food banks to help combat food insecurity among families during the summer months. Southeastern Grocers has a number of initiatives to support its communities throughout the year, including a $20,000 grocery and funds donation to New Orleans Community Fridges.
Raymond Rhee, Chief People Officer for Southeastern Grocers, said, “With children at home during the summer months, the struggle to put enough food on the table for many families is often magnified. Through our donations to local food banks and our ongoing community hunger-relief initiatives, we are proud to support the tireless work of our regional partners to bridge the nutrition gap for our neighbors in need. We are dedicated to providing families with the nourishing food they need for a healthy life, and we remain committed to strengthening the communities we serve – today and every day.”
Veggie Grill Rolls Out New Loyalty Program
Veggie Grill, a fast-casual vegan restaurant chain, has announced its brand new loyalty program and digital ordering experiences. The brand has partnered with Thanx to power its customer loyalty efforts. As part of the new program members can earn access to three different tiers:
The entry-level “Fan” tier rewards customers with enrollment perks and access to the brand’s rewards marketplace.
“Supporter” tier customers receive a free fountain drink with every order, a free cookie once a month, and 50 bonus points.
Super Veggie Grill fans in the “Ambassador” tier receive a free cookie with every order, a free starter or shared item once a month, early access to menu items, and 100 bonus points.
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