Chipotle announces investments in startups focused on kitchen automation, factory-based alternatives

Hypen automatic kitchen solution.

Courtesy: Hyphen

Chipotle said on Thursday it is investing in two companies that have the potential to accelerate growth – one that automates kitchen operations and another that makes versions of chicken and steak with mushrooms. plant-based.

The Newport Beach, California-based company said Cultivate Next, a $50 million venture fund, will invest in Hyphen and Meati Foods.

Chipotle said in a statement that Hyphen uses robots to automate the division of bowls and plates without the need for an employee. Hyphen says its technology can produce more than 350 meals per hour.

Investment to the middle staff shortage nationwide and not Chipotle’s first foray into automation investing. Last year, the company invested in Nuro, an automated delivery company, before creating the Cultivate Next fund. And his year, the company piloted Chippy, an automatic cooking and seasoning machine for Chipotle chips.

Meati Foods, which received another Cultivate Next investment, uses mushroom roots to create plant-based chicken and steak alternatives. With the help of Chipotle Ventures, the company says it has secured $150 million in its latest funding round.

Chipotle said in its release that plant-based options have been a priority on their menu in recent years.

The company did not say how much it is investing in Hyphen or Meati. Chipotle representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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