The past three years have been a little bit crazy, so crazy that the world has started to adopt the term “a new normal.” Unfortunately for us, this craziness isn’t going to relent soon, as robots are now set to take over the world, starting with the restaurant industry.
This is, of course, a joke (but after 2020, 2021, and the first half of 2022, you would certainly not be at fault for believing it). Fortunately, robots are not taking over the world, but they are starting to turn quite a few heads within the restaurant scene.
Large restaurant chains, like Chilli’s, are increasingly using automated platforms (or robots) to staff their front-of-house service, wait on their diners, or help with any of the other jobs that restaurant staff is usually required to do.
Usually, things like this are driven by the bottom line of large companies looking to reduce their wage bill and make as much profit as possible. I’m sure they’d be lying if they said that wasn’t a bonus. Still, the main driver behind the shift towards technology and automation is the immense pressure that the North American labour market is experiencing. There are so many jobs currently available that employers struggle to find enough employees.
The ”Great Resignation” that happened throughout last year has hit the hospitality industry particularly hard, with resignation rates in the US reaching more than double the national average.
Restaurateurs have turned to automation and technology to fill the employee-shaped holes that many restaurants have struggled to manage. Fuelled by artificial intelligence and intelligent software, this technology can ensure that many restaurants can stay open and run smoothly. The Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP), by the Government of Canada, helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) adopt digital technologies to increase their competitiveness. Eligible businesses will receive a grant to build their digital plan, followed by a 0% loan of up to $100,000 to implement it.
The tech has also been able to help improve the speed and accuracy of service (robots aren’t going to forget your order) and have helped improve hygiene standards.
Typically, a headline involving robots in the hospitality industry consists of the term “take-over,” “revolution,” or various other coup-like phrases. But, in this case, technology is being used by people to help plug a gap. It’s not taking over but providing a much-needed helping hand.