Chipotle Mexican Grill founder Steve Ells is planning to reenter the hospitality market with robot-powered meat-free restaurants called Kernel, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

The new restaurant will offer guests meat-free sandwiches made by robots and skeleton crews.

Ells plans to open a chain of restaurants, with the first location scheduled to open in Manhattan. The report added that the company plans to open at least a dozen more locations throughout New York over the next two years.

Ells told the Wall Street Journal that its new robot-powered restaurant will operate with fewer resources, with only three people, who will team up with robots to make meat-free burgers, faux chicken sandwiches, salads, acai bowls and sides.

Chipotle’s founder also explained to the publication how the process works in his new restaurants and how the robots have been designed to do much of the heavy lifting.

Once an order is sent to the restaurant kitchen, the robotic arm puts food-laden pans into the oven while a programmed toaster flips a bun into the oven for warming and the conveyor belts move dishes through the kitchen.

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The restaurant staff put the finishing touches on the dishes before packaging. They are later placed into a cubby for the customer to pick up.

The publication quoted Ells as saying: “We’ve taken a lot of human interaction out of the process and left just enough.”

According to reports, Chipotle’s founder is said to have invested $10m and is seeking to raise $36m additionally from investors for this startup brand.

Last month, Chipotle tested Hyphen’s automated digital makeline for making bowls and salads.

Hyphen is a foodservice platform designed to help restaurant owners and operators take their business forward by automating kitchen operations.