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Downtown Boston’s Robotic Restaurant Gets $21 Million to Fund Expansion

Daniel Boulud-affiliated robot kitchen Spyce plans to spread around the East Coast

A row of robotic food-making equipment is lined up at the back of a restaurant
The machines have become sentient
Sarah Storrer/Eater

Spyce, a fast-casual restaurant in Boston’s Downtown Crossing that serves food mostly prepared by robots, just secured $21 million in Series A funding, the company announced today. Consumer investors like Collaborative Fund and Maveron ponied up some of the cash, as did existing investor Khosla Ventures. Celebrity chefs Thomas Keller, Jérôme Bocuse, and Gavin Kaysen also contributed to the funding, alongside Daniel Boulud, who has been involved in the project since before the restaurant’s opening, both as culinary director and an investor.

Spyce plans to use the money to expand on the East Coast.

“We’re excited to open more restaurants and further develop our concept and technology to continue establishing our brand within the food community,” said Michael Farid, CEO and cofounder, in today’s announcement. “Just as on day one, we remain singularly focused on delivering an unbelievable meal and experience each time someone visits Spyce.”

Spyce opened in Downtown Crossing (241 Washington St., Boston) in May 2018. The entire experience at Spyce, from start to finish, requires customers to interact with technology. Order on a touch screen, and then wait as a robot makes your Moroccan bowl. (There are some human employees at Spyce — they help guide customers through the ordering process, if need be, and perform some tasks that the robots cannot, such as prepping ingredients and garnishing the finished plates.)

Spyce’s bowls are offered at a relatively low price: $7.50 each.

Spyce’s chicken and rice bowl
Spyce’s chicken and rice bowl
Sarah Storrer/Eater

“Our purpose is to increase access to wholesome and delicious food for people at all income levels,” Grace Uvezian, Spyce’s head of marketing and public relations, told Eater earlier this year. “When our founders were undergraduates at MIT, they couldn’t afford to spend $10 to $12 on one meal and knew they weren’t alone. Too many people were being priced out of quality. Spyce is at the intersection of hospitality and technology; by combining appropriately sourced ingredients with our robotic kitchen, we’re able to provide meals at $7.50.”

East Coasters: Keep an eye out for more robot chefs. Locations and opening timelines will be announced at a later date, but the company is looking to open “a number of restaurants” in the region.

A black-and-white GIF of the Spyce robotic kitchen in action
The Spyce kitchen in action
Sarah Storrer/Eater

Go to Downtown Crossing for a Meal Cooked by a Robot [EBOS]
Spyce, One of the World’s First Robotic Restaurants, Is Opening in Boston [BM]


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