The Creator Restaurant is in San Francisco, and the owner’s name is Alex Vardakostas. So he grew up in the burger business. As a teenager, Alex V flipped around 400 burgers a day. For years, he dreamed about making a product and mundane job better, but didn’t know where to start. Alex V is also a robot builder and fanatic. So he combined his two passions and founded Creator Restaurant.
The robots do everything. They cut the buns and cook the burger. They also put the sauce, seasoning and vegetables on the bun. The robots even grind and cut the beef patty to match every bite to texture. These burgers only cost six dollars, and that’s without fries and a drink. But from the demonstration I saw, there are enough vegetables on the burger that they alone can make a side order. It would be good to have to a drink to wash it down, though. But the interviewer asked a more important question: about jobs. How will this affect jobs at a time when so many worry about losing jobs to robots?
Alex V answered by boasting about his ‘good sized’ staff. He pays them $16 an hour, which is significantly more than the $11.00 minimum wage in California. He also gives his employees a ‘five percent’ time. That means he gives them 5% off the clock to read, relax, or do something constructive. We used to call it break time. I do admire how Alex V treats his employees. But he kind of eluded the question that plagues much of the IT service community, and Creator Restaurant. Will these jobs, robots and institutions take our jobs and threaten life as we know it?