Behind The Scenes

Chipotle’s ‘Cultivate Next’ revolutionizes kitchen affairs


Chipotle, an American restaurant chain, has come a long way from a Mexican-serving food giant to automate food sector by investing in technologies like AI and robotics. It has taken on to overcome the challenges plaguing the in-store or restaurant chains. To take its $50 million venture fund Cultivate Next forward, Chipotle has invested in HYPHEN, a foodservice platform that automates kitchen operations, to ease the work of restaurant owners, budding chefs and operators to handle their business with much efficiency. It has also invested in Meati Foods, a consumer-good business that is committed to provide plant based meats. It produces healthy, complete proteins from mushroom root.

Cultivate Next helps to ease the pressure on restaurant industry as it addresses issues like labour shortages and growing food costs. With such facilities, it entice customers to dine-in at their food stores. The million dollar venture fund targets early-stage investments in businesses that are aligned with the company’s vision. It furthers this vision to “Cultivate a Better World” and support its ambitious development strategies.

Investments in HYPHEN and Meati Foods is just a step towards revolutionizing the way food industry works. Chipotle aims to transform the human experience for the industry workers as well as customer experience of eating out.

Hyphen’s road to the Future

Chipotle and Hyphen are cohorts of quality infused kitchens. The California-based Hyphen aims at modernizing kitchens with accuracy, quality and hospitality. For this purpose, Hyphen’s first offering is an automated system that makes use of cutting-edge robotics and a specialised operating system to provide busy kitchens with a dependable and accurate means to prepare and complete orders.

The Makeline lets restaurant workers to manage in-house orders, that is, orders placed at the counters as well as the digital orders, made off the counter.

According to Chipotle Chief Technology Officer Curt Garner, Hyphen is reinventing interaction between makelines and digital kitchens. CTO Garner also said that Hyphen is focusing on increasing speed and order accuracy. He emphasized that Hyphen’s robotic technology to enhance the customer and employee experience and make the restaurant industry more efficient is in line with Chipotle’s mission of utilizing emerging technologies to increase access to real food.

According to Stephen Klein, co-founder and CEO of Hyphen, “Chipotle’s investment in Hyphen will accelerate our employment ambitions; enabling us to engage more extensively in R&D, all while providing the essential infrastructure to scale sustainably.” “We’re excited to work with Chipotle to develop more creative solutions by eliminating monotonous activities from the employee experience so they can concentrate on producing excellent food and provide exceptional service,” said the company.

Meati Foods: A Nature-preserved food system

Colorado based food company Meati Foods provides manufactured goods made from mushroom root that are rich in nutrients. The base for Meati products that is mushroom roots are raised all year indoors in a pristine environment. This environment keeps the mushrooms away from contaminants, pesticides, antibiotics, and growth hormones. The production of Meati’s products take place in such a way that all the life forms on earth that is, water, land, and air, are safeguarded and preserved.

According to Tyler Huggins, co-founder and CEO of Meati Foods, “Chipotle is a likeminded pioneer in the movement to develop sustainable food systems with their industry-leading dedication to sustainability and responsibly-raised foods.” “Cultivate Next venture fund breaking ground is an essential signal of Meati’s capacity to lead the industry, and new investments like this will help us scale operations and our mission-driven team,” says Meati.

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