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roboburgerAudley Wilson, Dan Braido and Andy Siegel want the Sharks to bite on RoboBurger, the world’s first robotic hamburger vending machine, in Shark Tank episode 1521. The three men bring different skill sets to the business. Wilson is a lifelong inventor aand former restaurant operator. Braido is a robotics savant and Siegel is a serial entrepreneur who’s sold over $1 billion worth of consumer goods in direct marketing; he also owns 3 restaurants.

The idea of a robotic burger machine was Wilson’s. He says he’s been inventing it since he was 17 years old. Each RoboBurger takes up 12 square feet of space. It has a touch screen ordering system, refrigerator, automated griddle, and a cleaning system. Just stock it, plug it in and you’re good to go. Burgers, made from Angus Beef are $6.99 and people who’ve tried them say they’re tasty.

Robo Burger doesn’t make money selling burgers, they make money by selling or leasing the machines. There’s no hard pricing on their website, but they do say “you can own a RoboBurger plug-in, ventless unit for only $67/day, and $0 down.” The machines have a 1 year warranty and for an extra fee, you can have them do cloud-based monitoring and inventory tracking. They provide documentation for unboxing, installation, setup, and offer online training. The company has already raised $10 million. They likely want a Shark to help them secure more inventory.

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RoboBurger Shark Tank Recap

Audley, Dan and Andy enter the Shark Tank and Audley says everyone has been in search of hot, delicious food at off hours and remote locatioons. This is because food service huge capital expenditures, long term leases and keeping a kitchen staff. Dan asked what if we fit a restaurant in a 12 foot box that only needed electricity to operate? Alan says “welcome to Roboburger, the first fully autonomus machine that cooks a hot and delicious hamburger in under 4 minutes.” The Roboburger provides a restaurant quality experience. The robo-chef cooks the patty, toasts the bun, adds the condiments and delivers a hot and juicy burger. The robotic cooking platform requires no special plumbing or wiring and can cook anything round and ground. The footprint may be small, but the possibilites are endless. They’re ready to flip the restaurant industry on its head.

They are seeking $1.5 million for 5% of their business. They invite Michael Rubin onstage to try it out. The other Sharks have pre-made burgers at their tables and they chow down while Michael orders a burger from the machine. It takes a little over 4 minutes to prepare a fresh burger. Lori says it tastes good and Kevin says “it didn’t suck.” Barbara wants to know if she can order a burger medium rare. The burgers are actually pre-cooked and the machine rethermalizes them; that’s for health code reasons. It does cook on a griddle, so it’s fried in its own juices.


Michael wants to know if they want to sell under their own brand or if they want to make them for other people. Right now they are a robot restaurant company but the ultimate goal is to be a brand extension of other people’s brands. When Michael’s burger finishhes cooking, he scampers onstage to grab it. He takes a bite and says “it’s pretty good.” They believe they can put tens of thousands of machines out there. Mark doesn’t buy it. He says there are a zillion robotic food manufacturers and he gets pitches from them all the time. Alan says they have 4 patents and they “own the sandwich.” Their patents cook and clean and give them the ability to do anything that’s done in a restaurant. Mark says that doen’t mean there isn’t competition that does it a different way.

Kevin wants to hear some numbers. He wants to know how much it would be for 2 units. Alan recommends 4 and Kevin says “give me 4.” Their lease program is only $3000 per month per machine. Kevin wants to know if they stock and service the machines. Alan says they connect you with a food supplier. Michael says when you factor in food cost, a machine needs to do $150,000 per year and then you need to scale that to thousands of machines. Because the machine is on 24 hours a day, it chould be easy to sell 30, 40 or fifty burgers a day. During beta testing, they were selling 20-30 burgers per day at $5.99-$6.99. Burgers cost $2.25

More Numbers

Kevin says they offered a $30 million valuation; he wants to know how he’ll make money. Alan says they were in beta for 18 months and they sold almost 12,000 burgers. They have contracts for 14 untis of the 20 they will produce this year. This year (2023) they will have $1.4 million in revenue and will have a loss of $700,000. Next year (2024) they will have $7 million in revenue and make $1.6 million on that revenue.

Mark says robotics is a leap-frog industry where technology reaches a plateau then someone else comes along and optimizes the tech to the next level. Mark says if this was a licensing play, that conversation would have been interesting. He says they are in the vending machine business which requires a huge capital expenditure; Mark is out.

Michael is partners with Kevin Hart in Hart House, a vegan restaurant. They have 4 stores open now. He doesn’t think the economics  work for Hart House; he’s out. Barbara had experience with Daisy Cakes pie vending machines in airports and they all had problems; she’s out. Lori says it was confusing for her to understand their business model; she’s out. Audley says they’d be open to financing so they could scale. Michael asks if he gave them a $1.5 million loan, would they give him 10% of the company. Alan counters with 2% but Michael won’t budge. Lori calls it a fabulous offer. Kevin likes the loan structure and wants to go 50-50 with Michael. The guys counter at 8% and Michael says he’d do it at 9%. The guys accept the deal.

RoboBurger Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. Once an episode has aired, we monitor the progress of the businesses featured, whether they receive funding or not and report on their progress. The Shark Tank Blog will follow-up on RoboBurger & Audley Wilson, Dan Braido and Andy Siegel as more details become available.