Miso Robotics Names Christopher Kruger New CTO And Expands Board Of Advisors To Scale And Grow In New Markets
Increasing Product Demand and Industry Need Attracts Leading Experts to Bring Intelligent Automation to Market
Miso Robotics the startup transforming the foodservice industry with Intelligent Automation proudly introduces its newly appointed Chief Technology Officer, Christopher Kruger, in addition to an expanded Board of Advisors comprised of industry experts William (Bill) Mitchell, John Inwright and Jane Gannaway.
Demand for Miso Robotics’ products has continued to accelerate at a fast pace with the success of its flagship product, Flippy, and Software as a Service (SaaS) option, CookRight – fueled by the impact of the pandemic and record labor shortages. Seeing the opportunity to bring further efficiency to kitchens and help operators stay open, the company recently entered into a new market with enormous opportunity. The startup announced plans to produce an automated beverage dispenser with global manufacturer Lancer Worldwide, diversifying into a new area beyond cooking. The latest move into this new market signals a new era for Miso Robotics, full of rich potential that requires the right talent and advisors to be in place.
“We are in the extremely fortunate position to not only bring in a rockstar CTO in, Chris, but also strengthen our Board of Advisors to give us a holistic understanding of the vast foodservice market and help us navigate the untapped areas in it where we can integrate our technology,” said Chief Executive Officer Mike Bell. “With the amount of product interest we receive on a daily basis, we needed to make sure we had the right team in place to meet our rapid growth trajectory – and this is that team.”
Christopher Kruger will lead the charge to scale new products for new markets while overseeing Miso Robotics’ current technology portfolio. Ryan Sinnet, who previously served as CTO, will transition his role into a full-time lead for Research and Development as its Chief Research Officer, supporting Miso Robotics in pioneering new innovative, cutting-edge software and technology.
Christopher Kruger, Chief Technology Officer
Christopher Kruger joins Miso Robotics from iRobot, where he led the team that developed a large-scale cloud-based robotics simulation platform for Roombas and other home robots that improved software quality and speed. Among his many accomplishments at iRobot, he also coached the team that delivered the largest autonomous robot product launch, Roomba i3+, with the highest quality to date based on a metrics driven approach.
Prior to iRobot, Kruger worked at Hewlett Packard Inc. (HP) where he was the Senior Director of Workflow Engineering. He was responsible for forming a new engineering team that was focused on data science and machine learning to develop workflow analytics and intelligence. While at HP, he helped establish a secure development life cycle (SDLC) on devices for Enterprise and Government customers. Kruger’s experience in high volume consumer and commercial products and agile leadership aligns with Miso Robotics’ goals and vision to build the connected commercial kitchen of the future.
Board Of Advisors
In addition to Kruger, Miso Robotics has brought on new industry expertise and leaders to help successfully infiltrate new markets like the beverage space.
- William (Bill) Mitchell, President, Hut American, Flynn Restaurant Group
Bill Mitchell is the President of Hut American, Flynn Restaurant Group, and has nearly 30 years of U.S. and global franchising experience. Prior to joining Hut American, Flynn Restaurant Group – which owns 2,355 restaurants and grosses $3.6 billion in annual sales – he was the Chief Executive Officer for Cici’s Pizza from June 2018 through March 2021. Responsible for 450 restaurants in 32 states, Mitchell served on the board of directors and was tasked with the turnaround of the brand prior to and through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to Cici’s Pizza, Mitchell served in a variety of leadership roles at Dunkin’ Brands including as President of Dunkin’ Brands International, where he was responsible for nearly 8,500 Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins’ restaurants across 60 countries. Before joining Dunkin,’ he spent a decade at Papa John’s International, where he served in multiple roles for the $3 billion international company including Senior Vice President of Domestic Operations, Division Vice President, Operations Vice President and, ultimately, President of Global Operations.
Mitchell also spent time at AFC Enterprise (Popeye’s Restaurants) where he was responsible for the business planning and operations of 1,400 franchise locations and led the largest acquisition of 81 Hardee’s restaurants in Popeye’s 27-year history. Before entering the restaurant industry, he served in the United States Army.
- John Inwright, Former President and Chief Executive Officer, Wendy’s Quality Supply Chain Cooperative, Inc.
John Inwright is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Wendy’s Quality Supply Chain Cooperative, Inc. (QSCC) – a role which he filled for more than a decade until his retirement from full-time employment in January 2021. During this time, Inwright worked directly with Wendy’s Brand c-suite leadership, ensuring that QSCC accomplished all member and brand objectives.
Prior to joining QSCC, Inwright worked in the supplier and manufacturing community as EVP & General Manager for the Commercial Division of Nice Pak/PDII, a global expert providing infection control products and prevention methods for the foodservice and healthcare industries. He also served as the EVP & Chief Procurement Officer of U.S. Foodservice, one of the country’s largest broad-line foodservice distributors, and as SVP of Purchasing for Unified Foodservice Purchasing Co-op, LLC – the supply chain co-op for Yum! Brands and its franchisees – where he served the procurement, distribution, and logistics interests of the franchise and corporate restaurants across A&W, KFC, Long John Silver’s, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.
Recognized by his peers as a breakthrough leader in developing high-performance associates and teams, Inwright served for nine years on the Board of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, most recently as Chairman of the Investment Advisory Committee. He previously served as Chair for the Supply Chain Sub-Committee of the National Council of Chain Restaurants and is a past member of the Institute of Supply Management (ISM), the National Restaurant Association (NRA), the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA), the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA), and the National Retail Foundation. Today, Inwright serves as Chairman of the Board for GS1 US.
- Jane Gannaway, Principal, JPG Consulting LLC
Jane Gannaway is the Principal for JPG Consulting LLC, where she works with clients in foodservice and retail worldwide with a focus in strategic planning, engineering, productivity, facility design and layout. Prior to her current role, she was with Starbucks Asia Pacific leading the R&D Beverage and Food Innovation, Food Safety and Quality, Regulatory and Scientific Affairs, Engineering, Packaging and Manufacturing teams. Before Starbucks, she was with the Yum! China team working on the KFC, Pizza Hut, East Dawning and Little Sheep brands.
Prior to Yum!, Gannaway worked for a variety of foodservice and consumer products companies including Procter & Gamble, International Playtex Inc., Kraft General Foods and Advantica Restaurant Group (Denny’s, Hardee’s, Coco’s, Carrows, El Pollo Loco, and CityRange Steakhouse Grill).
Gannaway has been extremely engaged in community service throughout her career and is currently the incoming Board Chair for the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center and also works with BPeace as a Skilantropist and on the Executive Committee. She has also held leadership positions with professional organizations including: Institute of Food Technologists (Foodservice Chair), Electric Food Service Council (Advisory Council member), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (University Chair) and Yum! China Family Sponsor (Volunteer Committee member).
Miso Robotics is excited to expand their team of technology talent and advisors to develop new solutions that fully tackle the commercial kitchen back-of-house opportunity. The company continues to raise capital for their Series D campaign through crowdfunding to accelerate time to market for their products. The new additions will help to guide the company through this critical phase of its growth journey and bring Intelligent Automation access to more operators at a faster rate than ever before.