The fact White Castle is family run and owned, Richardson added, played a key role in the methodical approach. “We don’t feel a Wall Street pressure or anything like, we need to do this overnight,” he said. “We’re really putting in a lot of time and energy working with them in real time to get to what we think might be perfection. And then, we’ll hit play in terms of adding more.”
The innovation also speaks to White Castle’s overall direction of late—that 2022 is “year 1 of the rest of our lives,” Richardson said. The unique ability to couple 10 decades of equity with an eye to the future.
“It’s been a really great metaphor for turning 100,” he said, “to have something brand new on the cutting edge and ahead of the curve a little bit.”
“Our partnership with Miso continues to lead the way on what’s next for back of house restaurant operations looking to empower team members with technology to better satisfy customers,” said Jeff Carper, White Castle COO, in a statement. “Having Flippy 2 be a new hire at 100 of our White Castle locations keeps us on a path to achieve big goals at White Castle.”
“We could not be more grateful for the confidence White Castle has shown in us as we enter into the next phase of our partnership,” added Mike Bell, CEO of Miso Robotics. “White Castle was the first large brand to embrace our technology and we are thrilled that our Flippy pilot made such a positive impact on their operations that they want to integrate 100 more. We can’t wait to continue on this journey with such an outstanding partner.”
With more than 15,000 shareholders, Miso Robotics has raised more than $50 million in crowdfunding to date and is currently in its Series E round, which kicked off with a market valuation of $500 million.
White Castle’s commitment to employee productivity and satisfaction is nothing new. There are 10,000 employees at White Castle, and one in four have been with the burger chain for 10 or more years. Of 450 leadership and above positions (GMs, district supervisors, and regional directors), 442 started behind the counter and worked their way up.
In 2021, White Castle earned a “Great Place to Work Certification” based on a “Trust Index” survey conducted among the company’s employees. Eighty-one percent called White Castle a “great place to work”—22 percentage points higher than the average for U.S.-based companies.