Mezli Rolls Out Autonomous Restaurant to Bay Area Customers

Mezli AutomatedFood400x275

August 19, 2022

KitchenTown, a San Francisco Bay Area innovation center that helps entrepreneurs create the future of food, has announced that Mezli, a fully autonomous restaurant, has rolled out from its 30,000-square-foot San Mateo campus and is now parked at Mission Bay’s Spark Social to be open to the public.

The idea was brought to KitchenTown by three Stanford engineering students who wanted to democratize access to healthy, delicious, convenient food and needed the tools, infrastructure and culinary expertise to transform their technology into a viable modular restaurant model, the group said.

The Mezli technology has robots that are able to create custom-plating Mediterranean-style bowls for each order, provide final heating and cooking steps, apply garnishes, sauces and toppings to the bowls, and serve the bowls, side orders and drinks through smart lockers. The food itself is prepped by cooks in a central kitchen that lets them prepare more meals worth of ingredients per day than in a smaller, traditional restaurant kitchen, the company said.

KitchenTown said it is investing in the startup’s seed round as well as putting other resources for Mezli founders Alex Grubele, Alex Kolchinski and Maxwell Perham, including:

  • Creating a 5,000-square-foot workspace in its Innovation Garage for the robot to be built;
  • Having Culinary Director Eric Minnich develop, test and refine the recipes in its food development facility;
  • Hosting a yearlong, Mezli pop-up restaurant where locals can purchase bowls to provide real-time feedback on the food;
  • Advising the founders on food safety and regulatory matters, and introducing them to investors, product and experience designers.

Rusty Schwartz, founder and CEO of KitchenTown, said that helping to fuel the development and growth of Mezli and launch it is the type of positive impact he intended when he decided to create a food startup incubator in 2014.

“As a lifelong entrepreneur myself, I know that driving positive change in our food system has to happen from the ground up; from emerging innovators who are sustainability-minded, tech-savvy, eager to collaborate and hungry to scale,” said Schwartz. “To play a critical role in making their visions a reality, KitchenTown had to provide the capability, infrastructure, mentorship and ecosystem. We are proud to see our mission pay off in being part of the development and growth of Mezli.”

The pop-up restaurant is currently parked in Spark Social, and expects to be fully operational to the public by the end of August or early September. For more information on KitchenTown or Mezli, visit their respective websites.

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