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White Castle Is Expanding Flippy, the Slider-Slinging Robot, to More Locations

Plus, a Utah restaurant is banning customers from wearing masks, and more news to start your day

Hand holding White Castle slider, on a table with other White Castle food. Photo: rblfmr/Shutterstock
Jaya Saxena is a Correspondent at, and the series editor of Best American Food Writing. She explores wide ranging topics like labor, identity, and food culture.

The slider chain is installing its burger-flipping robot in more locations

Over the summer, White Castle partnered with Miso Robotics to test out a burger-flipping robot, Flippy, at one Chicago location. Apparently it went well, because the chain just announced it would be introducing Flippy to 10 more locations in 2021. “We believe technology like Flippy ROAR [robot-on-a-rail] can improve customer service and kitchen operation. This pilot is putting us on that path — and we couldn’t be more pleased to continue our work with Miso Robotics and pave the way for greater adoption of cutting-edge technology in the fast-food industry,” Lisa Ingram, CEO of White Castle, said in a statement.

This Flippy 2.0 is slightly different from the one White Castle piloted in July because it can move across different workstations on a rail. It’s also designed to work with human kitchen employees, who can load it up with food for it to dispense onto the grill. The pandemic has certainly heightened the allure of AI cooking, which would limit staff interaction while still producing the same amount of product. White Castle is especially expecting Flippy to come in handy during night shifts, which are harder to schedule for humans who need sleep. White Castle didn’t say whether it would be eliminating any human jobs to make room for Flippy, but maybe if they put googly eyes on it, you won’t notice the difference.

And in other news...

  • White Castle is also closing its stores on the morning of November 3 so its human employees can go vote. [QSR]
  • See if you can guess a Biden supporter from a Trump supporter by looking in their fridges. [NYTimes]
  • Yaks Restaurant in Blanding, Utah has banned customers from wearing masks, and is now selling merch crowing about it. Over the past week, there have been an average of 1,512 COVID-19 cases in Utah, and the county in which Yaks is located “has had more per capita COVID-19 cases than anywhere else in Utah since the pandemic began in March.” [Salt Lake Tribune]
  • Latina domestic workers are facing extraordinary food insecurity. [NBC]
  • J.M. Smucker is selling Crisco to B&G foods for $550m, as it looks to focus more on things like pet food and coffee. [Fooddive]
  • Slice, the third-party delivery service specifically for pizzerias, is removing fees for orders under $10. “The pandemic is far from over, and I challenge all online ordering services to make similar adjustments to their fee structures to better support small businesses,” said Slice Founder and CEO, Ilir Sela in a statement. [BusinessWire]
  • Bud Light is releasing holiday hard seltzer flavors: Apple Crisp, Peppermint Pattie, and Gingersnap. [CNN]
  • McDonald’s is launching its new pastries today. [CNN]
  • Panera is now selling pizza. [Forbes]
  • All this White Castle news may not even matter, because fuck sliders. [Defector]