When you go out to eat the last thing you would expect is a robot serving you. Even better, a robot making your food! With the ongoing labor shortage, more and more restaurants are turning to technology to keep business running.
Last year a TikTok video of a Denny’s restaurant went viral. It wasn’t for their pancakes or their great deals. It was because of their robot, named Janet, being used to make people´s breakfasts.
Chick-fil-A is partnering with Kiwibot, a robotic delivery service that was founded in 2017, to help launch its next iteration of delivery robots. Food ordered by Kiwibots can be delivered to customers up to a mile away from businesses, university campuses, and airports or malls. Average deliveries take thirty minutes to reach customers and it costs $1.99 according to Restaurant Dive.
The demand for food service delivery grows exponentially. One of the major challenges of providing food delivery is the cost. According to Restaurant Dive, the commission fees can be as high as 30% for third-party deliveries. Several restaurants raised the prices of their delivery menu to lessen the amount paid for fees.
Autonomous delivery can lower delivery service costs for restaurants since it requires a lower labor investment. In a Kiwibot press release, they noted that ¨the robot won’t be expecting a tip.¨
In a Sergio restaurant chain in Florida, Carlos Gazitua, the owner and chief executive of the restaurant, turned to robots after he wasn’t able to coax his workers back when indoor dining was back open again. Mr. Gazitua turned to Servi robots. The robot uses cameras and laser sensors to carry plates from the kitchen to tables in the dining room, where a waiter then takes the plate to the customer´s table. The robot costs $999 a month.
A company named Makr Shakr, based in Italy makes robotic bartenders. The robot´s arms can measure, mix, shake, pour, and garnish cocktails.
White Castle started testing Flippy at their restaurant in Indiana in late 2020. The Flippy robot is created by the company Miso Robotics. Flippy the robot uses artificial intelligence, sensors, computer vision, and robotic arms to fry fast food, such as french fries and nuggets. The robot costs $3,000 a month.
Chipotle also partnered with Miso Robotics to make Chippy, the robot that makes the tortilla chips. According to Chipotle, the robot has been programmed to follow the same technique for creating chips as with human hands.
Seeing all of these innovations in technology being used in everyday life, who knows what restaurants will be like in the future. One day, you will go to a restaurant and give compliments to the chef, a robot.