Serving Robots: The Next Front of House?

Since the pandemic, restaurants have come up with creative solutions to save money. Whether cutting costs, upgrading technology, or finding some other way to adapt, the foodservice industry is exploring unexplored territory. Take, for example, one Florida seafood place that just invested $30K in robots.

Who They Are

Mr. Q Crab House in Hollywood, Florida installed three new workers on their service floor this month. The owner, Joy Wang, set to solve the understaffing issue they’ve experienced because of COVID-19. With a downturn in traffic, a lot of restaurants have less money to pay workers or even stay open as before. A lot of businesses have also had difficulty getting employees back to work. Between the fear of catching sick and expanded unemployment benefits, people would rather wait until we’re through the other side of the pandemic if they can.

Although it may seem counterintuitive, spending so much in a tight economy, it’s really an investment in their long-term success. Once Mr. Q Crab House breaks even, they’ll start seeing big savings in labor costs, workforce efficiency, and customer satisfaction.

What Robots Can Do

Labor shortages don’t stand a chance against mechanized front-of-house workers. While human servers actually take guest orders, they’re not needed for much else. These food service robots can:

  • greet customers
  • direct people to their tables
  • deliver food from the kitchen to each table. They can handle a whole party’s orders at once, without having to make multiple trips
  • sing happy birthday in four languages

and they look pretty cool on the service floor, too. It’s another selling point for customers who want a truly one-of-a-kind dining experience.

How Restaurants Benefit

The upsides to hiring robots as workers don’t start when you break even on your initial investment. ROI begins instantly. They can’t spread COVID-19, for starters, so they’re good at reducing face-to-face contact while we get past this pandemic. By easing customers’ fears, too, guests are inclined to come back more often.

Downpayment notwithstanding, you’ll also save money immediately. Get the benefits of a full staff without having to find front-of-house employees. Meanwhile, your human servers get to take home more money each night since they don’t have to tip out the robots. Instead of working those extra tables, your waitstaff can focus on improving customer service in their sections and focusing on areas of the business that need a hand.

What’s Next for Food Service Robots

Although they’ve gotten good reception on social media, these robots are still a new technology. Since Mr. Q Crab House just installed them this month, only time will tell if they’ll spread throughout the industry. $10K apiece may be a big ask for some businesses but look at your budget, your needs, your customers and do what’s best for your restaurant. Advanced but very new technology may be what you need to dive back into business in 2021.

When you’re upgrading your technology, consider a more advanced Point of Sale system too. eatOS offers an all-in-one cloud-based eco-system exclusively for restaurants. From Point of Sale to Contactless Ordering, Pay & Order at Table, Kitchen Display System, Customer Facing Display, Online Ordering APP / Website and Workforce Management there is everything to help a restaurant succeed no matter the size. Click Here to Schedule a demo to learn more about how your restaurant can make a smooth transition into the world of restaurant technology made simple.

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