When a robot cooks your lunch with Steve Ells of Chipotle and Kernel

Steve Ells changed the restaurant industry once when he founded Chipotle in 1993. His idea for fast, freshly prepared food became the model for today’s “fast casual” format. It’s a story he told when he was first on the show back in 2017. Now, he hopes to revolutionize the industry again with a new chain of small, highly automated, vegan restaurants called Kernel. 

This week on How I Built This Lab, Steve Ells returns to reflect on stepping away from the company he spent decades building and how his concern for climate change inspired his new restaurant concept. Plus, how he thinks that robotic restaurants could be good for workers, customers, owners and the environment. 

This episode was produced by Chris Maccini with music by Ramtin Arablouei.

It was edited by John Isabella with research by Casey Herman. Our audio engineer was Neal Rauch.

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