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Salad chain Sweetgreen bets on automation by buying Spyce and its robotic kitchen tech

A employee wears a Sweetgreen Inc. hat whereas getting ready meals inside the corporate’s restaurant in Boston, Massachusetts.

Adam Glanzman | Bloomberg | Getty Pictures

Salad chain Sweetgreen introduced Tuesday that it has purchased Spyce, a Boston restaurant firm that made a reputation for itself with its automated kitchen.

Since its founding in 2015, Spyce has raised $24.88 million from traders, together with famed chef Daniel Boulud, in line with Pitchbook. The corporate’s robotic kitchen and conveyor belts are in a position to prepare dinner and serve its heat bowls and salads with none human intervention. Spyce has two restaurant areas, each in Boston.

The acquisition is predicted to shut within the third quarter this 12 months. Monetary phrases weren’t disclosed.

Sweetgreen mentioned it’s figuring out the place and the way it will incorporate Spyce’s know-how into its personal eating places. The corporate mentioned the deal is meant to enhance the shopper expertise by filling orders quicker and extra precisely and giving its staff extra time to concentrate on getting ready meals.

The deal follows Sweetgreen’s transfer in June to file for an preliminary public providing confidentially. Possession of Spyce’s know-how might make Sweetgreen extra engaging to traders because it seeks to enter the general public markets. Rising labor prices have been placing stress on earnings throughout the restaurant trade, incentivizing corporations to spend money on automation and synthetic intelligence know-how to handle less complicated duties. For instance, McDonald’s purchased Apprente in 2019 and has lately begun testing the software program to take orders from some Chicago eating places’ drive-thru lanes.

Sweetgreen’s newest funding spherical earlier this 12 months valued it at almost $1.eight billion after the coronavirus pandemic spurred large progress for its digital gross sales. As a result of it’s nonetheless a privately held firm, it doesn’t disclose its monetary outcomes.

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