Big Machines of HQ: The Burrito Dropper

Big Machines

When we announced our new HQ in Butner, North Carolina, the best word we had to describe our new space was BIG. And guess what? Using that space to create Nuggets requires some equally gigantic, ginormous, gobsmackingly gargantuan — in other words, big — machines. In this series, we’re going behind-the-scenes to learn more about the Big Machines of Nugget HQ. Today’s feature: the fantastically fun burrito dropper.

What is a burrito dropper?

We’re glad you asked! This is a Nuggety invention through and through, made to solve the challenge of producing and shipping out thousands of Nuggets per day. When we started out, we could stuff Nugget boxes full of Nuggets all day long and meet demand. As word got out about how very awesome Nuggets are, we moved to a Nugget Chucker, almost like a slide mixed with a catapult (too cool, we know), to decrease the work put on humans and enlist some machines to help.

But, soon, we found ourselves hitting production constraints again! Nuggeteers around the country were waiting eagerly for their Nuggets and we needed a solution. Enter: the burrito dropper.


Looping animation of burrito dropper placing compressed Nuggets into Big Orange Boxes on conveyer belt

The burrito dropper is a contraption that makes it easy-peasy for Nuggets, all wrapped up and ready for their big trip to their future homes, to be boxed up and sent out. Nuggets ride a conveyor belt up, up, up and over a bridge. The burrito dropper parks a box directly underneath, lines it up just right, and, using its SuperClaw, holds the box open while the Nugget drops right in.

Burrito dropper machine in Nugget warehouse factory

At peak performance, the burrito dropper boxes a Nugget every 7 to 8 seconds. There's another Nugget, all boxed up and ready to go!

Nugget character wearing a hardhat peering around a Big Orange Box

Why we’re always, forever, #TeamBurrito

Even if our team had superhuman strength and took no breaks, ever (which doesn’t sound healthy to us), humans could not box up Nuggets at the same rate as the burrito dropper. It’s just impossible! Even with our best set ups before, humans could maaaaaybe do 600 per day. Now, with the burrito dropper, we’re hitting more than 2,000. 

But really, it’s about more than hitting numbers. The burrito dropper makes it safer for our Production Team to do their jobs. Lifting Nugget burritos to put into a box isn’t too hard a few times over, but multiply that throughout a day of work and that’s a lot to ask of anyone. 

Plus, creating new machines is kind of fun.

Conveyer belt with multiple Big Orange Boxes and burrito dropper in background

The burrito dropper runs all day, every day that HQ is open. We’re so proud of the constant stream of Nuggets chugging up and over the bridge and into their boxes. We know those Nuggets are going out to Nuggeteers like you around the country. Someday, we’d love for you to come see HQ in real life and share the magic too! 


There are a lot of moving parts to making, packaging, and shipping Nuggets from HQ to homes across the country. Our Big Machines series will walk you through how we’ve been able to scale up our production since moving to HQ in Butner. Find past editions of Big Machines on our BIG blog, and keep your eyes peeled for more info soon!