Nommi, a new startup automating customizable bowl-based meals, has launched to raise up to $20 million in seed capital and is now open for reservations.
As part of this investment, visionary Sam Nazarian has led funding as part of a 50/50 deal to establish robotic Nommi kitchens in partnership with Nazarian’s global food tech platform C3 (Creating Culinary Communities).
Nommi, which is backed by Wavemaker Labs, a robotic incubator, is building a standalone robotic kitchen that is able to produce and dispense any grain-, noodle- or lettuce-based dish through a fully integrated cooking system.
Along with lead innovation partner, C3, Nommi will offer consumers a more efficient way to access healthy and fresh food.
Given the heightened demand over the past year and a half for high-quality, low-touch and speedy food options, consumers’ relationship with food is fundamentally changing and, to this point, restaurants have not been prepared for the monumental shift that’s taking place.
Coupled with the huge labor shortfall that the industry is currently facing – where restaurants are operating with 2.8 fewer employees in the front-of-house and 6.2 fewer employees in the back of house – automation will be a necessity for survival.
However, there has not been a fully automated solution that can be customized to a variety of cuisines and brands – until now.
Reimagining the restaurant experience through robotics and software, Nommi is a high-grade, robotic kitchen that cooks meals in as little as three minutes from start to finish.
The battery powered and self-charging machine has limitless menu options and consumers will be able to select multiple bases and toppings to meet their specifications and cuisine desires.
Because Nommi can be configured for both single- and multi-brands, it opens up a huge market opportunity to partner with restaurants and chefs who would like to expand their reach to additional markets.
The partnership, which is kicking off with a projected order volume of 1,000 units by C3, is a win for both sides as they work together to usher in a digital kitchen revolution.
An early trendsetter of the digital restaurant industry, C3 has quickly become the fastest-growing global food tech platform – serving more than 2.3 million meals through more than 40 culinary brands over the last twelve months.
The food tech platform’s omnichannel approach strives to harness the ordering power of Gen-Z and Millennials who studies have shown are the main users of third-party delivery providers.
Nommi and C3 will begin an initial pilot program through “Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto’s Sa’Moto restaurant brand. The Sa’Moto-branded Nommi robotic kitchen will provide consumers access to the same quality Sa’Moto menu items, but will also be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Sam Nazarian, C3’s Founder and CEO, says: “The sky is the limit through our partnership with Nommi to further expand C3’s food tech offerings.
“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.”
Each Nommi machine is able to hold 330 bowls and lids before needing to be refilled. It moves forward and back to collect ingredients and allows for multiple bowls to be prepared simultaneously given its holding functionality.
The bowl rotates 360 degrees as it moves through the machine to allow for precise ingredient placement.
Once a meal is prepared, it is stored in a safe and sanitary locker (capacity to hold 21 meals) for the consumer to pick up via a unique QR code.
As a fully operational kitchen, Nommi also self-cleans after preparing each meal and gives consumers a completely contactless experience with no human interaction.
With a forward-thinking approach to flexible service and reaching new customers and verticals, the entire Nommi kitchen can fit into a single container or food truck for easy transport.
This opens up opportunities for on-the-go delivery and catering at medium- and long-term events like corporate parties, movie productions and construction sites.
Buck Jordan, president and co-founder of Nommi, says: “Nommi’s secret sauce is undoubtedly its unmatched versatility, both from a brand and consumer perspective.
“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.”
In addition to C3, Nommi is backed by experts in the food automation space. Its lead investor, Wavemaker Partners, is a global venture capital fund with over $600 million assets under management, and its studio, Wavemaker Labs, focuses directly on automation.
Wavemaker has incubated and launched several robotics brands including Miso Robotics, Piestro, Bobacino, Future Acres and Graze.