Robotic servers have become more than just a novelty in restaurants across the United States. In the face of labor shortages and high turnover rates, restaurant owners are turning to robots to improve efficiency and customer service. One such establishment is Wing Factory in Atlanta’s upscale Buckhead neighborhood, where a robot server named R2WING2 has become a valuable asset.
Owner Michael Giovine initially considered using a robot for back-of-house tasks, but he soon realized that a robot server could help alleviate his labor issues. With the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges of finding reliable employees, Giovine took a chance on the robot server. The results have been impressive, with the robot handling about 90% of the restaurant’s food during lunch service.
While incorporating robots into the restaurant industry comes with a significant upfront cost, Giovine believes it is a profitable business move. Leasing the robot server costs him around $800 per month, which equates to just $4 per day. This is significantly cheaper than hiring an employee. Additionally, the robot doesn’t require employee benefits or time off, making it a dependable and cost-effective solution.
The use of robot servers isn’t limited to large chain restaurants. Independent establishments, like Tastee Spoon, a Caribbean fusion restaurant in Atlanta, have also embraced this technology. Their robot server, named Irie Milly, efficiently delivers food and provides a unique dining experience.
Overall, the introduction of robot servers represents a new wave of innovation in the restaurant industry. While there may be initial costs and adjustments, these robots have the potential to improve efficiency, reduce labor shortages, and enhance customer satisfaction. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see more restaurants welcoming these helpful robotic assistants into their establishments.
1. How do robot servers work in restaurants?
Robot servers are designed to carry food and beverages, transport dirty dishes, and interact with customers. They follow a predetermined path, receive orders from the kitchen, deliver food to tables, and return to the kitchen for refills or to transport dirty dishes.
2. Can robot servers replace human waiters completely?
While robot servers are increasingly being used in restaurants, they are not intended to replace human waitstaff entirely. Human interaction and personalized service are still essential aspects of the dining experience. Robot servers are meant to complement human waiters by handling certain tasks and improving efficiency.
3. Are robot servers cost-effective for restaurants?
While there are upfront costs associated with purchasing or leasing robot servers, they can be cost-effective in the long run. Robot servers eliminate the need for wages, benefits, and employee expenses. They also work consistently without the need for breaks, resulting in increased productivity and potentially higher profits for restaurant owners.