The restaurant industry across the world, struggles to cope with the losses incurred amid the coronavirus pandemic. According to hiring giant Indeed, only 10 per cent of job seekers are urgently looking for openings. This reason can be due to the fear of Covid, unemployment benefits, childcare costs or more. After months of waiting for workers to rejoin the workforce, some restaurants have chosen an alternative. This involves hiring robots instead of workers who demand higher salaries. With robots taking care of repetitive jobs, restaurants can save up on rising costs and also focus on a contactless dining experience. Here’s everything you need to know.
Increase Of Robots In Restaurant Industry During Covid
The USA in a Bloomberg survey emerged as the best place to travel post-Covid. As the country slowly opens up for travel and leisure, employers are turning to automation by hiring robots instead of calling back workers. This trend has been noticed in every sector in the USA including distribution, manufacturing, retail, government services and yes, even restaurants.
In North America, the orders for robots surged by 20 per cent in the first quarter as compared to the 16 per cent last year. A handful of restaurants have taken to replacing low wage workers with automated technology. The simple introduction of a QR-code to search for menu or make payments at restaurants allows a short-staffed eatery to save up on having a waiter bring a menu physically to a customer’s table. When it comes to preparing food, Costco pizza has kept its prices low over the years by using robots.
Restaurants Like McDonald’s, CaliBurger Use Robots
The Insider reports that hiring issues have been common in the restaurant industry across the world, especially in the USA. Major restaurants like the fast-food chain McDonald’s is struggling to manoeuvre the national labour shortage. To tackle this, McDonald’s has started testing automated drive-thru ordering at 10 locations in Chicago. The American restaurant and entertainment chain, Dave & Buster’s plans to focus on contactless ordering.
The burger chain, CaliBurger started using the robotic fry cook Flippy for the first time ever during the pandemic last year. Botrista offers a beverage making robot called DrinkBot. Goldilocks, a Filipino concept in San Francisco International Airport uses DrinkBot after they didn’t have sufficient staff to prepare drinks amid the pandemic. Thus restaurants across the world have resorted to robots due to their cost-saving and labour saving benefits.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Robots In The Restaurant Industry?
So now the question arises, what are the benefits of using robots in the restaurant industry? Well, firstly amid the pandemic many restaurants across the world have to strictly follow a limited capacity model for the safety of guests. This can lead to an increase in cost as well as difficulty in getting their staff to come back to work, with limited pay and risk of contracting the virus or spreading it. Enter robots which significantly bring down the labour cost in the highly competitive food industry. Lower prices in turn will increase sales for the restaurant.
Apart from this, robots come up with additional features. For example, a human would have to estimate the number of ingredients and calories in a dish. A robot with weight sensors can give precise portion control with calorie figures. They also offer mass customization which can again boost sales. With robots taking over repetitive low-cost jobs in the kitchens, chefs can focus on doing what they want to do, like inventing new recipes. A contactless and safe dining experience for the staff can be the ultimate focus of restaurants. Moreover, restaurants wouldn’t need two or more employees for different shifts.
Risk Of Unemployment Due To Increased Use Of Robots In Restaurants
While there are multiple benefits of hiring robots in the restaurant industry, there’s always one main con to this. And that’s the problem of job loss for employees. But there might be a silver lining to this. With robots taking over low-cost repetitive jobs, workers can in turn have a stronger case for higher wages. According to Business Insider, this pay can lead to an increased economic activity which increases labour demand everywhere else. Robots might be able to create high-skilled jobs for people to earn a living wage. But yes, this may or may not happen. So, we will have to wait and see what the future of robots in the restaurant industry holds. In Chennai and Bangalore, there are robot-themed restaurants that use robots instead of waiters.to serve food