Bon Appétit Introduces Blendid, First Autonomous Smoothie-Making Robotics Kiosk, at University of San Francisco
Innovative food service pioneer partners with robotics startup 6d bytes to deliver healthy, satisfying “Blends” on demand
Thursday, March 28 (San Francisco, CA) — What do you get when you combine artificial intelligence, real food, and students hungry for a fresh, healthy, fast snack? Bon Appétit Management Company, University of San Francisco, and 6d bytes are pleased to announce the debut of Blendid, the first fully autonomous smoothie-making robotics kiosk, which combines software, hardware, and advanced robotics to offer delicious Blends.
Since Monday, March 25, students have been flocking to the glass-walled kiosk in Market Café, operated by Bon Appétit. The stand-alone Blendid kiosk consists of a robotic arm, blenders, a refrigeration system, and numerous dispensers that store and apportion a variety of fresh ingredients including solids (fruits and vegetables), liquids (like kefir and coconut water), and superfoods (such as chia and flax). Blendid’s robot, known as Chef B, processes the orders and payment, swiftly selects and measures the ingredients, blends, pours, and serves up each customized Blend in about two minutes. A skilled multitasker, Chef B is designed to make 35-45 orders an hour (including cleaning).
The leadership team of Bon Appétit, which is based in Palo Alto, CA, and provides food service to many of technology’s household names, first met with Sunnyvale-based Blendid in 2016. “We’re always looking for innovative partners who can help us deliver a unique food experience to our guests,” says Bon Appétit CEO and cofounder Fedele Bauccio. “I knew from the beginning that Blendid’s combination of technology and healthy, good-tasting Blends could be a great fit for us, and when it was ready, for the University of San Francisco community as well.”
“We could not be more excited to work with Bon Appétit and have USF as our first location for a Blendid kiosk,” said Vipin Jain, CEO and cofounder of Blendid. “Beyond the university being right in our own backyard, the school, staff, and students also align with our values and mission by being innovative, progressive, and health conscious, as well as appreciative of positive change and the benefits of advanced technology.”
Blendid’s expert team of nutritionists and chefs have created a variety of Blends recipes for University of San Francisco students, including:
- The Classic (vegan) — Traditional strawberry-banana flavor with no added sugar, includes flax for fiber and healthy fats. Works well as a tasty lower-calorie meal replacement or snack.
- The Foggy Don – Named for USF’s weather and athletic teams, the Foggy Don is a kale-based blend sweetened by blueberry, banana, and apple juice, with chia for fiber, and kefir for filling protein and beneficial probiotics.
- Modern Lassi – This modern interpretation of a lassi-style beverage with mango, kefir, coconut water, and agave is thirst-quenching and at only 162 calories, a light way to brighten up your meal.
Blendid has also hired several USF student ambassadors, who in the pre-opening week during Blendid’s installation answered questions from hundreds of curious students and handed out samples of Blends. The ambassadors will continue to support the kiosk by restocking the ingredients periodically and managing on-site customer service.
The Blendid kiosk in USF’s Market Hall is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Customers can place orders in person at the kiosk or via the Blendid app (available for iOS and Android) for a cost of $6 per 12-ounce drink.
About Bon Appétit Management Company
Bon Appétit Management Company is an on-site restaurant company operating 1,000-plus locations in 34 states for corporations, universities, museums, and other cultural institutions as well as the San Francisco public restaurants The Commissary, Arguello, Public House, STEM Kitchen and Garden, and Foundry & Lux. Bon Appétit chefs cook from scratch, including sauces, stocks, and soups. The Palo Alto–based food service company is a recognized industry leader in environmentally and socially responsible practices, with awards from organizations including the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council, Acterra, James Beard Foundation, and many others.
Media contact: Bonnie Powell, [email protected]
As a Sunnyvale-based robotics systems company, Blendid uses advanced technology to prepare and serve fresh and delicious smoothies, known as Blends. The company uses robotics, machine vision, and artificial intelligence to transform and modernize the way the food and beverage industry approaches the preparation and serving of healthy foods. The state-of-the-art Blendid systems are answering the millennial and consumer trends and needs for healthy and fresh meals quickly and on the go. Founded in 2015 by Vipin Jain, Venki Ayalur, and Vijay Dodd, Blendid is a fully autonomous food robotics kiosk. As the future of food, Blendid is improving the consumer experience, while also reducing issues or complexities and saving costs for the operators. Every Blend is made from fresh fruits and creates a tasty, healthy, affordable, and convenient meal or snack for the customer – exactly how and when they want it. Blendid is passionate about delivering delicious nourishment using modernized robotics.
Media contact: Leah Brown, [email protected]