Freebirds World Burrito—or as they call it, “Texas’ No. 1 Burrito”—has a new strategic partnership with Dallas-based Now Cuisine for its robotic meal makers. The deal includes a pilot program to expand Freebirds’ burrito bowls to new locations in Dallas-Fort Worth using the startup’s AI-enabled Takeout Stations.
Initially, Freebirds plans to place the restaurant-branded Takeout Stations in multifamily and office buildings, and later expand to college campuses, airports, hotels, and other locations.
Alex Eagle, CEO of Austin-based Freebirds World Burrito, says the brand continues to invest in new tech that gives people options about where and when to grab their “beloved” bowl.
“It’s just cool that a Texas-based AI and robotics company can help a Texas-based burrito company expand in ways we could only imagine just a few years ago,” the CEO said in a statement.
Entrepreneur Andrew Cohen founded Now Cuisine in 2018 to develop, own, and operate a network of miniaturized, fully automated robotic kitchens that provide healthy restaurant-quality meals around the clock.
Cohen—who built the beta version of the takeout station in his garage—had his lightbulb moment at the height of the pandemic, as his Dallas-based startup offered a way for restaurants to easily and affordably serve customers off-premise without any need for delivery, real estate, additional labor, or in-person contact.
As part of the deal, Freebirds CEO Alex Eagle is joining Now Cuisine’s advisory board, and the burrito chain has issued a purchase order for more robotic stations to be placed in new locations across Texas.
With the Takeout Stations, Now Cuisine is bringing to market a whole new category of food service—one that addresses a fundamental mismatch between people (who are nearly everywhere) and restaurants (which tend to be clustered, for example, in retail locations). The company calls it “Distributed Dining,” which can democratize access to good, affordable food.
Through a connected network of Takeout Stations, Now Cuisine says “it can improve nutrition, shrink food deserts, save precious time, and reduce waste, traffic, and emissions.”
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