An automation specialist that helps commissaries and other central kitchens save time and labor in food production has big expansion plans following a major funding boost.

San Jose, Calif.-based Hyphen, which uses software and robotics to help improve efficiency and consistency, is the beneficiary of a $24 million Series A financing round led by Tiger Global, with participation from Steve Fredette, the co-founder and president of Toast, Inc., according to Hyphen.

Hyphen has raised $34.4 million to date and will use the funds to build out their factory, expand into new markets, invest in R&D for next-generation products, and deploy with customers across the United States, according to the company.

With the new round of financing, Hyphen is aggressively hiring designers, engineers, and operators to support their plans to scale to five markets this year and next.

"We’re thrilled to bring on such a strong group of strategic investors to support our mission of putting commercial kitchens on autopilot,” said Stephen Klein, Hyphen’s CEO and co-founder. “Razor-thin margins have plagued the restaurant industry for decades, but the pandemic exacerbated this with inefficient fulfillment of digital orders and a massive labor shortage. Hyphen solves this dilemma by automating the assembly process. Our Makeline automates the production of digital orders, and our KitchenOS augments labor with efficient workflows and actionable insights.”

Hyphen was designed to be used by anyone, Klein said. Its user interface is simple and intuitive, like a smartphone, so you can train employees fast.

Applications include:

  • 6, 10 & 18 HOTEL PAN CABINETS: Build a custom makeline to fit your menu with three cabinet options, offering a range of hotel pan sizes and configurations.
  • TRAY DENESTING MODULE: Auto­mat­i­cal­ly dispenses a bowl or plate, so orders keep flowing.
  • MIXING MODULE: Create the perfect dis­tri­b­u­tion of ingredients for salads and bowls — without the mess.
  • LID & LABEL MODULE: Auto­mat­i­cal­ly secure lids and labels with the customer’s name and meal info.
  • STAGING MODULE: Consolidate multiple menu items in a single order and stage orders based on pick-up or delivery.


HyphenOS lets customers track unit-level store performance, purchase inventory based on historical and real-time data, and develop new and seasonal recipes that can be easily synced to all Hyphen makelines.

Hyphen doesn’t require plumbing, drains, vents, or hoods — simply plug it in and start serving on day one. It’s also easy to integrate: Hyphen works with customers’ existing IT infra­struc­ture, including menu management, delivery services, KDS, POS, ERP systems.

With push-to-unlock features, Hyphen requires no tools for cleaning, and each component fits into a standard 3 — comp sink or commercial dishwasher.

Hyphen also updates itself with continuous and scheduled maintenance.

With Hyphen, commissaries and other central kitchens can produce 350 or more meals per hour and increase production capacity 17-fold, all with +/- 2% portion accuracy and 99.9% order accuracy. 

Hyphen also helps customers deal with the problem of chronic labor shortages.

As millions of workers left the food industry during the pandemic, order inaccuracy increased by 22%. With significant labor pressures continuing to impact the $1.6 trillion foodservice industry into 2022, food providers are increasingly looking toward automation to help their businesses not only survive, but thrive, according to Hyphen.

In the past twelve months, Hyphen has tripled its number of customers, who have reserved hundreds of the company’s Makeline machines. At planned production capacity, Hyphen has sufficient demand for the next two years, and will begin taking new reservations later this year for deployments in 2024.

“Amid labor shortages and increasing customer demand for takeout and delivery, restaurants need ways to increase throughput and improve efficiency. Hyphen created an intuitive and reliable solution that does both,” said Griffin Schroeder, a partner in Tiger Global. “We're excited to partner with Stephen, Daniel, and their team, to support restaurants across the country."