Robotic assistants have become ubiquitous in today’s customer-centric business, performing a broad range of tasks, from cleaning our homes to streamlining factory assembly lines and logistics centers. Even in high-touch industries like restaurants, robots are making their presence felt. Imagine walking into your hotel lobby and a team of service robots greeting you for check-in, scanning your IDs, and guiding you on your way to the room. However, there’s no need to worry about a complete robotic takeover of the hospitality business. Instead, robots are here to enhance hospitality operations by boosting the efficiency and precision of manual tasks. Moreover, they offer managers exciting new opportunities to optimize their businesses effectively. This article will dive deeper into the factors driving the demand for hiring a robot for the hospitality factor and answer the most frequent question of whether it will replace human workers in the future.
What it covers
- 1. Key driver: labor shortage
- 2. Will robots replace humans?
- 3. How can I help you?
- 3.1. Can I have it my way?
- 3.2. Top it up with some fries?
- 4. Considerations for a successful transition
The worldwide labor shortage is paving the way for AI robot assistants
” According to a recent study by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), almost all hoteliers (97%) experience staffing shortages, while almost half (49%) experience severe staffing shortages.”
Labor shortage remains a central struggling point for many industries, including the hospitality sector, despite continued gains in occupancy and revenues. Adopting technological solutions can bridge the gap for the industry to fill vacant positions. As a result, in recent times, the hospitality industry, previously heavily reliant on manual labor, has undergone a significant transformation. The adoption of robotics and SaaS-based technology has become increasingly prevalent, streamlining operations and elevating the overall guest experience.
Will service robots take over humans’ jobs?
Robots have proven valuable assets for restaurants, especially during the current labor shortages. While robotics has been in use for quite some time, today’s robots are merely an extension of the ongoing technological advancements in the hospitality industry over the past three decades. Gone are the days of miniature plasticized figures roaming the kitchen; instead, modern restaurants are implementing robotic delivery marvels likeBellaBot, robots for food preparation like automating the baking process, and other cutting-edge technologies.
However, it is crucial to acknowledge that the technology to replace human workers entirely in the kitchen has yet to be available. The level of sophistication required for robots to perform tasks like flipping tortillas and assembling tacos remains beyond their capabilities. Thus, robots are currently serving to fill gaps left by the shrinking labor pool rather than entirely replacing human employees. This allows businesses to allocate their human resources to more valuable, customer-facing roles that enhance the overall guest experience.
Contrary to the fear that robots may take away human interaction, they actually present an opportunity to create even more meaningful connections. Robots are not meant to replicate the appearance and capabilities of humans, despite their portrayals in science fiction. Instead, automation offers a chance to optimize restaurant efficiency, particularly in back-of-the-house operations, freeing up staff to assist customers more effectively, even when using self-order kiosks.
Indeed, self-service kiosks can offer tremendous advantages in a restaurant setting. While some guests may initially find the ordering technology unfamiliar, automating back-of-the-house processes can result in more efficient overall operation. This, in turn, enables front-of-the-house staff to be readily available to assist customers with their kiosk orders, ultimately enhancing the dining experience for everyone involved.
How can I help you?
Placing humanoid robots at the front desk is a practice introduced in the hospitality sector long back. You may at least encounter one such cute little genius like the Pepper robot placed at the reception center to answer customer queries, help visitors navigate their way through the restaurant, and so on. Robotic kiosks in hotels and restaurants are revolutionizing how customers place their orders. These cutting-edge self-service stations provide a seamless and interactive experience, allowing guests to customize their meals according to their preferences. With user-friendly interfaces and intuitive designs, these kiosks make ordering quick and convenient, minimizing waiting times and streamlining the entire dining process. As a result, customers can enjoy a more personalized and efficient dining experience, while businesses benefit from increased order accuracy and enhanced operational efficiency.
Can I have it my way?
Do you know that 54% of Millennials like self-ordering kiosks because they think it elevates their food-ordering experience? This is why when a famous food giant introduced their ad campaign, ‘Have It Your Way,’ it immediately gained massive popularity among customers, especially tech-savvy youngsters who always want to keep things at their fingertips. As menus continue to expand in size, meeting the precise demands of guests has become more challenging. However, the introduction of kiosks presents a solution to this issue. These self-service stations empower customers to take complete control of their orders by providing clear on-screen customization options. The kiosks ensure that precise requests are automatically conveyed to the kitchen, streamlining the entire ordering process and ensuring that guests receive precisely what they desire. Moreover, this is a proven way to simplify everything related to food ordering and customer satisfaction, as demonstrated by the success of third-party food apps. The operation is much more efficient with fewer mistakes because the customers can communicate exactly what they want.
Top it up with some fries
It is also significant to notice that orders placed at kiosks are consistently 20% to 30% larger compared to traditional methods. This increase can be attributed to the kiosk menu screens, which strategically suggest additional extras to customers, and many are enthusiastically embracing these suggestions. Looking ahead, we anticipate artificial intelligence (AI) to further enhance the hospitality industry by providing personalized and tailor-made customer experiences. As we delve into the realm of robotics and technology in the hospitality business, the ultimate measure of its impact boils down to the perspective of both restaurateurs and customers. While the transactional nature of the industry may bring certain benefits, the key lies in how these advancements are perceived and experienced by the customers.
Navigating a successful transition into robotic uses
Successfully implementing a robotic transition heavily relies on people rather than just robots. The first crucial step is addressing employees’ concerns about robots taking over their jobs. It is essential to emphasize that robots are meant to assist, not replace, them, enabling better control and efficiency. By highlighting the benefits, staff can understand how this implementation will enhance their roles and make them feel more valued as they shift towards more complex and rewarding tasks.
Transparency is paramount during this transition. Clearly communicating the planned changes, timelines, and process modifications to everyone in the organization is vital. This involves providing written guidelines that specify the job descriptions that will change and for whom. In most cases, adopting robotics for specific processes leads to job upgrades for associates, fostering a positive outlook towards automation.
Once everyone is onboard and aware of the plans for increased automation with robotics, it’s time for business owners to execute the project, as explained to the organization. Providing on-site assistance during the delivery of new technology is a wise practice. A representative of the company can explain how the technology works, discuss safety precautions, and provide any additional information necessary for the employees who will be using it. This hands-on approach ensures a smooth and successful integration of robotic solutions into the workplace.
Want to hire a robot?
Discover the effortless way to hire a robot assistant with PROVEN Robotics. Our Robot-as-a-Service (RaaS) allows you to bring a robot on board without any initial expenses. You get the opportunity to test and evaluate the robot’s performance before committing to a final investment. With a diverse range of robots available for various purposes, you can select the one that perfectly suits your industry’s needs. Embrace the future of automation with ease and flexibility through PROVEN Robotics’ RaaS. Want to learn more? Submit an inquiry or visit our robot lab in Riyadh for a hands-on demonstration.