Among the many highlights of VivaTech 2022 was having my morning coffee and muffin served by a robot. Well, what did you expect? This is VivaTech!
More than just a gimmick, the Knext Future Café is the world’s first fully integrated autonomous café, capable of serving freshly made hot and cold beverages and pastries 24/7.
“It’s basically ready to deploy in any premium location and company, in flagship stores, even theme parks, the healthcare, business and corporate dining,” explained Harald Rohrmoser, German Masterchef and entrepreneur.
The company, which is located in southern Germany, plans to roll out the first units in Germany at the start of 2023, followed by selected European countries.
Rohrmoser’s innovation is a response to the transformation in the food service business. He explained: “Cost are more expensive than ever: ingredients costs are rising like never before; manpower costs are very, very high. So operators are craving for solutions to stay in business to become more efficient and to provide their guests with a continuous service.”
The Future Café is fully plug and play and can be set up within a day. It still requires some human intervention to stock goods but the robotics takes care of most other tasks and, because the space is closed, it “saves time cleaning”.
In the long term, the founder hopes to develop the software concept, by connecting the Future Café with different apps to enable customers to order drinks remotely and process clean data that will be useful for stock optimisation.
“The vision is also to have better forecasting to know I will sell 150 muffins tomorrow and have nothing leftover, cutting down on food waste and becoming more sustainable,” said Rohrmoser.