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Pasadena tech companies partner to launch CaliExpress, a fast-food restaurant where robots cook wagyu burgers and fries by themselves in California

Three Pasadena technology companies have partnered together to counter California labor rate inflation with CaliExpress - the world’s first restaurant where AI-powered robots autonomously cook burgers and fries. This restaurant showcases Miso Robotics latest improvements since their first burger-flipping robot was introduced in 2018.

Miso Robotics, PopID, and Cali Group have partnered to create the world’s first wagyu burger and fries restaurant where AI-powered robots cook everything by themselves. Added benefits include faster output, better consistency, and improved sanitation while eliminating cook training.

The minimum wage for Californian fast-food workers will jump to $20 in 2024, an increase of 33% since 2023 and 222% since 2014. Politicians and labor groups have pressed for continued wage increases above the inflation rate despite customers reducing fast-food purchases as meal costs skyrocket. Restaurant automation can deliver high quality food at a better price point.

Miso Robotics is a pioneer of AI-powered robotic cooks. Originally, its 2018 Flippy burger-flipping robot needed humans to place patties on the grill before it took over. Since then, Miso Robotics has further developed its robots to the point where assistance is not required during the cooking process. Restaurant staff merely package orders for waiting customers.

PopID is a company that provides fully biometric ordering and payment kiosks to eliminate the need for cashiers. Cali Group is a holding company focused on using innovative technology in restaurants.

The grand opening of CaliExpress is expected soon, but in the meantime, enjoy a delicious, grilled meal at home (with steaks like this at Amazon).

World’s First Fully Autonomous, AI-Powered Restaurant Opening in Southern California

Press Release

December 5, 2023

Automation at CaliExpress by Flippy™ Enables Premium Wagyu Blend Burgers For the Masses at Traditional Burger Price Points

Pasadena, CA – Cali Group, a holding company using technology to transform the restaurant and retail industries, Miso Robotics, creator of Flippy (the world’s first AI-powered robotic fry station), and PopID, a technology company simplifying ordering and payments using biometrics, announced today that they are soon opening CaliExpress by Flippy™, the world’s first fully autonomous restaurant. Utilizing the most advanced systems in food technology, both grill and fry stations are fully automated, powered by proprietary leading-edge artificial intelligence and robotics. Guests will watch their food being cooked robotically after checking in with their PopID accounts on self-ordering kiosks to get personalized order recommendations and make easy and fast payments. The new CaliExpress by Flippy restaurant is located in a prime retail location in Pasadena, California on the northwest corner of Green Street and Madison Avenue at 561 E. Green St.

Transforming Food Quality for Consumers, and Transforming the Workplace For Restaurant Employees

For customers, these various technologies will enable CaliExpress by Flippy to deliver freshly made burgers based on a wagyu blend at price points competitive with other premium burgers using standard meat. Uniquely, the grill robot grinds the high quality beef in real-time after the order is placed, resulting in a burger patty that melts in the mouth. Flippy, the famous robotic fry station, will serve up crispy, hot fries made from top grade potatoes that are always cooked to exact times. The menu is very simple, comprising burgers, cheeseburgers, and french fries.

For employees working at CaliExpress by Flippy, these technologies will create a safer, easier, and friendlier kitchen. At the fry station, Flippy represents revolutionary breakthroughs in safety as slippage and burns can be nearly eliminated, as well as in waste reduction in both food and oil. The CaliExpress by Flippy kitchen can be run by a much smaller crew, in a less stressful environment, than competing restaurants — while also providing above average wages.

“To our knowledge, this is the world’s first operating restaurant where both ordering and every single cooking process are fully automated,” said John Miller, CEO of PopID and board member of Miso Robotics. “The marriage of these various technologies to create the most autonomous restaurant in the world is the culmination of years of research, development, and investment in a family of revolutionary companies.”

The CaliExpress by Flippy location will also be a pseudo-museum experience presented by Miso Robotics. Including dancing robot arms from retired Flippy units, experimental 3D-printed artifacts from past development, photographic displays, and much more, the space is designed to serve noteworthy food, plus inspire the next generation of kitchen AI and automation entrepreneurs. Local schools and educational groups are encouraged to reach out for tours.

“AI-powered, robotic order-taking and cooking enables the major chains that feed America to substantially improve quality, consistency and speed,” said Rich Hull, CEO of Miso Robotics. “Miso is proud to partner with Cali Group and PopID to make CaliExpress by Flippy a reality. Flippy has been an incredible success story and now everyone in Southern California can come take a look — and a taste — for themselves.”

CaliExpress by Flippy will open in December 2023 by reservation only with a grand opening to follow. Go to to book a reservation, sign-up for special offers, and tour information.

About Cali Group
Cali Group is a holding company that invests in restaurants and companies developing technologies for the restaurant and retail industries.

About Miso Robotics

Miso Robotics is revolutionizing commercial foodservice through intelligent automation solutions that solve the largest challenges in back-of-house kitchen operations. Making an immediate financial impact on a restaurant’s bottom line, Miso’s AI-driven platform incorporates robotics, machine learning, computer vision and data analytics to power and develop its breakthrough products, including Flippy, the world’s first fully autonomous robot for the fry station. With proprietary industry knowledge, data, and learnings accrued through brand partnerships over its first seven years, Miso’s products are constantly evolving to drive consistency, increase productivity, reduce costs, and improve the overall dining experience.

About PopID

PopID provides a comprehensive platform for revolutionizing digital interactions and payments using consumer-initiated biometric verification. PopID’s platform gives consumers the option of identifying themselves quickly and easily – with their face or palm – for checking in, earning loyalty, ordering, and making payments – enabling more personalized, secure, and streamlined experiences. To learn more about PopID and its offerings, visit

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 12 > Pasadena tech companies partner to launch CaliExpress, a fast-food restaurant where robots cook wagyu burgers and fries by themselves in California
David Chien, 2023-12-26 (Update: 2023-12-26)