Compass Group Canada and SJW Robotics announced an exclusive partnership where the global foodservice leader will pilot three 24/7 autonomous kitchen robots named RoWok in select Canadian operations. The partnership is aimed at addressing a gap in food service – where warm, fresh, customizable meals are not available – providing a welcome option for healthcare workers on a night shift or students studying after hours.
RoWok is designed to serve spaces that traditionally may not have an available footprint for an on-site kitchen or kitchen staff available 24/7, while also providing an easy-to-use, hot and fresh food alternative throughout the day.
“We looked at traditional hot food service models and saw a real need for 24/7 meal availability with wow factor,” Michael Hachey, chief innovation officer, said in the announcement. “By partnering with RoWok, we are adapting to different needs in the market and augmenting existing hot food service models that typically require labor and a full-service kitchen. People never used to think about grabbing a hot, fresh, customized meal at 3 a.m. because it was simply not available – now it’s possible with this cutting-edge technology that solves for these complexities,” he added.
Using robotics, AI, machine learning, data science and cloud analytics technology, RoWok offers an engaging and innovative customer experience – while occupying only 100 square feet of space. With the ability to produce 60+ meals per hour, the product is a natural fit for some of Compass Groups managed facilities where kitchen services are not available. The company intends to expand these services to provide another option to large-scale kitchen operations and mixed schedules, for example, healthcare workers and hospital guests eating during non-business hours or office workers without easy access to fresh cafeteria services.
“Our team has developed a fully autonomous QSR solution with one goal in mind – to cook incredibly fresh and great-tasting meals at high speed,” Nipun Sharma, co-founder and CEO, SJW Robotics Inc, said in the announcement. “Our partnership with Compass allows us to rapidly scale up within the infrastructure of one the best workplaces in retail and hospitality – and the team at Compass have been an invaluable complement to help accelerate our deployment.”
The RoWok machine works hand in hand with foodservice associates on site, who are required to prep, stock and monitor the quality of product and service. The technology will also help reduce the costs and labor complexities associated with offering a 24/7 staffed, fresh food service operation.
“Building an eco-system of partners allows us to implement and deploy new ideas, quickly and effectively. We are thrilled to partner with the SJW Robotics team and bring RoWok into our facilities, combining their state-of-art technology with our expertise in food service,” Heather Wilkie, vice-president, innovation at Compass Group Canada, said in the announcement. “We are challenging the status quo and pushing boundaries with this partnership, and we can’t wait to hear what our clients and guests have to say about RoWok.”
The announcement is one of several new concepts from Compass Group Canada’s newly announced innovation team. Compass Group Canada and SJW Robotics have begun exploring pilot locations across Ontario and plan to install three machines this fall in the healthcare, business and industry and educational spaces.
SJW Robotics is a pioneering foodtech company developing autonomous kitchen robotic systems for the hospitality industry. Drawing upon 80 years of combined experience in autonomous machine engineering, restaurant concept development and foodservice manufacturing, the company’s multi-disciplinary core team is reshaping the foodservice industry via scalable and profitable automated solutions – merging the art of cooking with the science of automation.