Japan's chain of rotating sushi restaurants use RFID and other technologies to achieve production automation, significantly reducing costs
As described in the 2011 movie "The Dream of Sushi Jiro", many people regard sushi making as a superb craftsmanship, but some modern Japanese restaurants have succeeded in reversing this idea. For example, this Kura Sushi restaurant chain no longer uses experienced sushi chefs to make sushi and rolls by their predecessors as before, but instead deploys a kitchen robot army made of metal that can be used within a specified time. Accurately produce food according to mechanical requirements - some machines make hand rolls, some machines make sushi, and machines spray mustard sauce on rice balls of perfect shape and size.
Since its inception 37 years ago, advanced technology has been the backbone of all aspects of Kura Sushi, a popular sushi restaurant.
Kura Sushi has always been the backbone of its business and stands out from the crowd, so that it operates more than 400 stores worldwide and has a parent company with a market capitalization of more than $1.5 billion. In August, Kura Sushi USA, a group of 22 rotating sushi restaurants, raised $41 million through an initial public offering. The stock soared 40% on the first day of trading.
Over the years, Kura Sushi has 31 technology invention patents, and over the years, the company has been developing its complex automated food ordering, preparation, distribution and settlement systems. Perhaps its most valuable patent is its transparent dome-shaped disc cover, called Sendo Kun, or "Mr.Fresh." The transparent disc cover is located on the top of each dish and will open when the dish is raised slightly. The point is that the transparent disc cover contains an embedded chip and its associated monitoring system tracks the cycle time of each plate on the secondary conveyor. There, anyone can choose food for themselves.
With this advanced level of automation, Kura sushi employs very few chefs and waiters. The savings are obvious compared to traditional restaurants. In addition, assistive technologies such as RFID readers and food supplement algorithms can further reduce labor costs and food waste.
There are now tens of thousands of imitators in Japan, most of which use sushi making robots made by Suzumo Machinery, whose plates are moved on conveyor belts to accurately deliver dishes to customers who place orders through the touch screen panel.
Kura sushi deployed multiple technology systems on the back end, one of which combines real-time data with information on how much food was consumed in the past compared to the time period, allowing production adjustments as needed. The chain also uses a remote assistance system with a camera to remotely transmit images to human supervisors, who can then immediately check the quantity and type of items on the conveyor and make recommendations.