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Trending this week: KFC closing dining rooms in Florida due to coronavirus and more on White Castle hiring robot, Flippy, to cook fried foods

Charlie Guzzetta promoted to president of fast-casual burger chain BurgerFi

This week on Nation's Restaurant News, quick-service burger chain White Castle has hired a robot named Flippy, created by Miso Robotics, to cook fried foods. Chain leaders say they are looking to bring autonomous kitchen assistants to restaurants to enhance food quality, develop contactless cooking and help boost menu innovation.  

“We think customers of today and tomorrow are going to want contact-free cook zones. We see this as being what's next in the kitchen,” White Castle vice president Jamie Richardson told Nation’s Restaurant News in a phone interview prior to Tuesday’s announcement.

KFC is closing dining rooms in 40 corporate restaurants in Florida due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the state.

The company said in a statement sent to Nation's Restaurant News, "Due to the continued escalation of COVID-19 cases in Florida, we have taken the step to close dining rooms in our 40 corporate-owned restaurants there. We have advised our franchise locations in the hot spot states of Florida, Texas, Arizona and California that have reopened to consider closing dining rooms for dine-in seating at this time."

Menu tracker also landed on our trending gallery this week with new items from Baskin-Robbins, KFC and more. Baskin-Robbins introduced new Creature Creation ice creams — all available through October. KFC also added Secret Recipe Fries to their menu — which you can get for $2.99 for a small and $4.99 for a large. 

Click through the gallery to check out the other new items on Menu Tracker and to see what else was trending on this week. 

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