Innovative Saudi restaurateurs launch Saudi Arabia’s first fresh food robot

The robot offers options for all taste preferences and meal choices. (Chowbotics)
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Updated 04 July 2020

Innovative Saudi restaurateurs launch Saudi Arabia’s first fresh food robot

RIYADH: The enterprising owners of a Saudi restaurant have taken health food technology to a futuristic new level — by employing the services of a salad robot.

Customers at RAW.K’s Riyadh eatery are being offered nutritious, fresh, and energizing meals and snacks from a machine utilizing the latest appliance of robotics science.

The hi-tech, healthy fast food option has been introduced in the Kingdom by RAW.K in partnership with the robot’s creator, Chowbotics, a Silicon Valley-based food robotics company that developed the machine as a means to tackle food-service challenges such as speed, freshness, and convenience.

Fahad Al-Humaidan, a cofounder of RAW.K, told Arab News: “Robotics in the food industry is emerging as a tool to provide a better experience to customers as well as solving many pain points of the industry.

“As a fresh food brand that puts freshness and customer preferences as a key driver for the business, RAW.K found Chowbotics to be the best partner to strengthen our offerings by introducing RAW.K robot.”

Sally the Robot, which was rolled out in Saudi under the name RAW.K Robot, uses precision robotics to assemble customizable salads, bowls, and snacks made from up to 22 ingredients such as chicken, tenderloin beef, baby arugula, corn, and fresh peaches.

The robot also offers options for all taste preferences along with breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal choices. Users can start by selecting from a chef-curated meal or build their own bowl consisting of two bases such as greens or grains, six toppings, and dressings, all of which are replenished daily.

For health-conscious customers or those with strict dietary requirements, the robot provides handy interactive nutrition information that updates as users personalize their meal.

One machine fill can provide 80 to 100 meals and operatives involved in the daily cleaning and replenishment of the stations are given notifications on ingredients’ expiration through a cloud-based dashboard.


Dubai gets a taste of kosher

Updated 18 September 2020

Dubai gets a taste of kosher

  • The Habtoor Group has partnered with Elli’s Kosher Kitchen to become the first UAE hotel operator to offer kosher meals

When Elli Kriel moved to Dubai from South Africa eight years ago, she was determined to maintain her family’s kosher Jewish diet and quickly sought out shops serving kosher products in the city.

“At the time we thought we were the only family that kept a kosher diet, but when word got out that we were a kosher family living in Dubai, many Jews who were traveling to the UAE would contact me for food,” Kriel told Arab News.

“I started sending food out from my home to help Jewish travelers and as the community started growing so, too, did the need for more kosher food.”

In 2018, a group of rabbis arrived in Dubai for an interfaith conference and the organizer called Kriel in a panic not knowing how to feed them. Once again, she cooked and prepared kosher meals for the numerous attendees.

“At the time the idea of kosher food outside the Jewish community was strange — something unknown,” said Kriel.

After the conference, word of her services spread quickly, and she received requests from hotel managers, concierges and others who needed to serve food to Jewish guests. In 2019, Elli’s Kosher Kitchen was born.

With the UAE normalizing ties with Israel, a number of hotels and restaurants across the emirate have begun preparations to introduce kosher food and beverages. The first is the Habtoor Group, which will offer kosher meals at several of its hotels, including the Hilton Dubai.

Habtoor Hospitality has partnered with Elli’s Kosher Kitchen.

“There has been great demand since the normalization process with Israel started, and we have had several requests for groups that require kosher food, as well as from tourists from Israel and other parts of the world who would like to visit the UAE now,” Fredrik Reinisch, general manager at Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City, told Arab News.

Hotels offering kosher catering will include Hilton Dubai, V Hotel, Habtoor Palace Dubai, LXR Hotel and Resorts, Habtoor Grand Resort, Autograph Collection LLC, Metropolitan Hotel and Habtoor Polo Resort.

“Kosher food is prepared in accordance with religious laws, the laws of the Jewish religion,” said Kriel. “It has to have kosher ingredients, follow specific methods of cooking and be served in a particular way. But it also applies to the way in which you eat the food. The basic principle is not to mix any dairy or meat products.”

Kriel ensures that all meals are prepared in accordance with OU kosher certification (Orthodox Union), believed to be the most trusted form of certification globally.

Guests with specific kosher preferences will also be able to choose from tailored menus. Meals will be packaged and sealed with an OU certified stamp.

Kosher food is similar to the concept of halal food, which adheres to Islamic law and follows religious rules in production, service and consumption.