Creating Culinary Communities (C3), a food-tech platform looking to leverage underutilized retail, hotel, and kitchen spaces with dozens of digital brands, will soon establish fully robotic kiosks nationwide.
The company is partnering with Nommi, an automated kiosk that can produce and dispense any grain, noodle, or lettuce dish through a fully integrated cooking system. The machine, which begins with an inventory of 330 bowls and lids, can prepare multiple meals simultaneously. Bowls rotate 360 degrees as they move through the conveyor belt, ensuring exact ingredient placement. Once the meal is complete, it’s stored in a locker (holding up to 21 bowls) for consumers to pick up through a unique QR code.
The machine can produce “limitless” menu options—allowing guests to select multiple bases and toppings to meet their specifications—and complete meals in as little as three minutes. Nommi is battery-powered, self-charging, self-cleaning, and contactless, with no employee/guest interaction. The kiosk can be configured for single or multi-brand companies, a compelling offer for restaurateurs hoping to expand into additional markets.
“Nommi’s secret sauce is undoubtedly its unmatched versatility, both from a brand and consumer perspective,” Buck Jordan, president and co-founder of Nommi, said in a statement. “Partnering with an innovative platform like C3 adds another layer of access to numerous revenue streams and unique customers. Both companies are disrupting the food industry and our partnership could not come at a better time.”
The partnership with C3 calls for an initial order volume of 1,000 kiosks. Testing will begin with a kiosk using “Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto’s Sa’Moto restaurant brand.
Sam Nazarian, founder of C3, told QSR last year that his goal is to “unlock the value of real estate in whatever capacity, whether they’re ghost kitchens, food halls, kitchens of hotels, or kitchens of restaurants.” So far, the company has served more than 2.3 million meals through more than 40 digital brands over the past 12 months.
The joint venture with Nommi is just another step toward his objective.
“The sky is the limit through our partnership with Nommi to further expand C3’s food tech offerings,” Nazarian said in a statement. “With Nommi, we are working to reimagine the restaurant experience by partnering AI with proven recipes and menu’s helmed by C3’s world renowned chefs. By doing so, we are taking traditional concepts and making them new for an ever changing restaurant industry. We are thrilled to be at the forefront of the digital kitchen revolution and with the support of the team at Nommi.”
Nommi’s lead investor is Wavemaker Labs, an incubator of robotic innovation. It’s the same company that helped launch Piestro, a tech brand that operates a fully robotic pizza-making kiosk with fast-casual 800 Degrees Pizza. Piestro and the pizza chain plan to establish 3,600 kiosks in high-traffic areas across the country.