Colorado Restaurant Hires Robot Servers; Owner Says, "It's Always On Time, Never Tired and Doesn't Argue"
In a unique twist on traditional dining experiences, Everest Nepal Restaurant in Glenwood Springs, Colorado has introduced two robots as its newest employees. These robotic servers are revolutionizing the way food is delivered to customers, providing an innovative solution to the restaurant's hiring challenges.
With the rising demand for skilled workers in the food industry, restaurant owner Maink Sakya decided to invest in these state-of-the-art robots to streamline his operations and enhance customer satisfaction, per 9 News.
Combining Tradition with Innovation
Everest Nepal Restaurant prides itself in delivering authentic and delicious Nepalese, Indian, and Tibetan cuisine. A review in The Gazette praises the restaurant's "flavorful" dishes and "attentive, knowledgeable staff." With the introduction of robots, the restaurant is blending the old and the new in a remarkable way, and meeting the growing demand for quality service by enhancing efficiency.
Efficient Food Delivery
One of the primary reasons for adopting robotic servers was the difficulty in hiring and retaining employees. The robots, Bella by Sakya, transport food from the kitchen to the customers' tables. With the ability to serve multiple tables simultaneously, these robots are capable of delivering food promptly and efficiently.
Sakya highlights their reliability, saying, "The best part of the robot is it's always on time, it's never tired, it does not argue. They are the best thing."
Seamless Navigation and Great Customer Experience
Sakya has full control over Bellas' movements, directing them to specific tables as needed. The robots are programmed to navigate the restaurant smoothly, avoiding obstacles and delivering orders accurately. While the robots are focused on their work, they still possess a touch of personality. Customers are permitted to touch their ears briefly and feel more connected to them. However, the robots promptly remind patrons to let them continue their duties, stating, "Don't touch me, let me work."
When the robots get blocked in the midst of their duties, they can be heard saying, "Let me go, let me work, I need to go to work."
Elaborating on the customer experience, Sakya said, "When the robot comes to the table, they smile," "They say, 'This is coming here to bring the food,' and they are happy." This combination of technology and human-like characteristics adds an element of novelty to the dining experience.
Investing in robotic servers comes with a significant initial cost, with the robots priced at approximately $25,000. However, Sakya emphasizes that this investment is considerably less than what he would spend on an employee's salary over the course of a year. Additionally, the presence of these robots has generated increased interest and footfall to the restaurant. People are intrigued by the innovative concept and visit the restaurant to witness the robots in action and the robots serving food enhance their dining experience.
Robotics in Restaurants—a Rising Trend
Innovations in the food and hospitality industry have a consistent focus—enhancing efficiency. A major reason behind restaurants hiring robots is labor shortage, per Forbes. "Eating and drinking places were still 794,000 jobs—or 6.4%—below their pre-pandemic employment levels" as of April 2022, per a report from the National Restaurant Association.
A California restaurant, Creator, employs a Rube Goldberg-like machine to handle all steps of the burger-making process: grinding beef, frying patties, toasting buns, dispensing condiments, and assembling burgers, per Built In. Similarly in Boston, Massachusetts, a robotic sous chef, Albert developed by Dexai Robotics is equipped to assemble meals within minutes, recognize ingredients and report when they need to be restocked. The robot pauses within 4 feet of a person for safety and even has emergency stop buttons. Users can control Albert from an app, and all of the robots’ actions are logged to ensure accountability in case a mistake is made during food prep.
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