Skip navigation

Why Steve Ells is going all in on robots


Chipotle founder Steve Ells’ semi-automated, plant-based restaurant, Kernel — which raised $36 million in Series A funding last summer — has received some superstar investors and an official opening date. New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones and Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (the latter is a known strict vegetarian) have received equity stakes in Kernel in exchange for their monetary investments in the budding company, according to The New York Post.

“[I am] thrilled to have an amazing group of investors who have been supportive of the great work that the team has done to bring Kernel to life,” Ells said in a statement acquired by The New York Post. “I’m proud to have them on board to achieve our shared vision for delicious food served in a novel, planet-friendly way,”

With two high-profile investors on board, Kernel is one step closer to fruition, and even now has an opening date and location. The first Kernel storefront will open at 315 Park Ave South on Feb. 12 in New York City’s Flatiron District. According to Eater, Kernel is on track to open 15 locations over the next two years. Each restaurant will feature a meat-free, though otherwise traditional fast-food menu and a kitchen/storefront run mostly by robots with a maximum of three human employees per location.

TAGS: Fast Casual
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.