The restaurant industry over the world struggles to cope with the losses incurred amid the coronavirus pandemic. According to hiring giant Indeed, only 10 percent of job seekers are urgently scanning for openings. It may be due to the fear of Covid, unemployment benefits, childcare costs, or others. While waiting for months for workers to return to work, some restaurants have turned to alternatives. It involves hiring robots instead of workers who demand higher salaries. Robots can take care of repetitive jobs, saving restaurants money and allowing them to focus on contactless dining. Here’s what you need to know.
Increase Of Robots In Restaurant Industry During Covid
Bloomberg’s study indicates that the USA is the best place to travel post-Covid. As the country slowly opens up for travel and leisure, employers turn 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.
North America saw a 20 percent increase in orders for robots in the first quarter, compared to 16 percent last year. Automated technology is replacing low-wage workers in a few restaurants. Using a QR-code to search for a menu or make payments at restaurants allows a restaurant with a short-staffed staff to save the expense of having a waiter bring a menu to a customer’s table. Costco Pizza has kept its prices low over the years by using robots to prepare food.
Restaurants Like McDonald’s, CaliBurger Use Robots
The Insider reports that hiring issues have been widespread in the restaurant industry worldwide, especially in the USA. Major restaurants like the fast-food chain McDonald’s are struggling to maneuver the national labor shortage. McDonald’s has begun testing automated drive-thru ordering in 10 Chicago locations to address this problem. American restaurant and entertainment chain Dave & Buster will focus on contactless arrangements.
During the pandemic last year, CaliBurger used the robotic fry cook Flippy for the first time. Barista offers a beverage-making robot named DrinkBot. Goldilocks, a Filipino cafe in San Francisco International Airport, uses DrinkBot after having enough staff to prepare drinks amid the pandemic. Thus restaurants around the world have resorted to robots due to their cost-saving and labor-saving benefits.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Robots In The Restaurant Industry?
Therefore, the question arises, what are the benefits of using robots in the restaurant industry? First, 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 increased cost and difficulty in getting their staff back to work, with fixed pay and the risk of contracting the virus or spreading it. Robots help reduce labor costs in the highly competitive food industry. Consequently, the restaurant’s sales will increase with lower prices.
In addition, robots have additional features. A human would have to estimate, for example, how many ingredients and calories are in a dish. It is possible to control portions with calorie figures using a robot with weight sensors. Additionally, they offer mass customization, which can also boost sales. Robots are taking over low-cost repetitive jobs in kitchens, so chefs can focus on what they enjoy, such as creating new recipes. Restaurants can provide staff with a contactless and safe dining experience. Furthermore, restaurants wouldn’t need two or more employees for different shifts.
The use of robots in restaurants increases the risk of unemployment.
The restaurant industry has many benefits from hiring robots, but there is always one major con. That’s the challenge of job loss for employees. However, there might be a silver lining to this. When robots take over low-cost repetitive jobs, workers can, in turn, demand higher wages.
Business Insider reports that this pay can boost economic activity, increasing labor demand everywhere else as a result. People can earn a living wage by hiring robots to do high-skilled jobs. Yes, this might happen, but it isn’t guaranteed. We will have to watch and see how robots will impact the restaurant industry. There are robot-themed restaurants in Chennai and Bangalore that serve food instead of waiters.