Why Restaurant Owners Are Now Looking Forward to Deploy Robots; Define Experts

Published  December 28, 2022   0
S Staff
Robots in Restaurants

Over two-thirds of restaurant owners are facing workforce shortage, which assists them to carry out their business, claimed by the National Restaurant Association in the US

The year 2022 fetched a lot of proclamations on automation in several sectors such as warehouse, manufacturing, food delivery, and now restaurants. This is mostly due to the fact that operation managers are finding it difficult to tackle dwindling employees and increasing salaries. As of now, efforts are a bit tricky and experts opined that it will take several years before robots are taking charge of restaurants instead of human workforce.

For instance, a couple of high-profile US based restaurant chains such as Sweetgreen is now planning to make its salad in an automated way in at least its two locations, while the Chipotle Mexican Grill is looking forward to test whether bots will be able to make tortilla chips is stores on not, and last but not least, Starbucks wants its coffee making machines to decrease the work pressure for baristas. In an exclusive interaction with CNBC, David Henkes, a principal at Technomic, a restaurant research firm, said "I think there’s a lot of experimentation that is going to lead us somewhere at some point, but we’re still a very labor intensive, labor-driven industry."

The restaurant researcher also stated that even before the pandemic, the eateries were also facing challenges to hire and retain staff. Basically, the worldwide health crisis worsened this situation, as many terminated employees left for other jobs and some of them are still looking for one. Over two-thirds of restaurant owners are facing workforce shortage, which assists them to carry out their business, claimed by the National Restaurant Association in the US. This is the situation that helped automation companies to step in and provide solutions. These companies mentioned that robots can make pizzas and burgers more precisely than the human workforce. 

In fact, drive-thru orders can be better managed by computers via artificial intelligence. The massive announcement of automation this year was by Miso Robotics, which has raised $108 million as of November and has a valuation of $523 million, according to Pitchbook, stated by CNBC. The cutting-edge launch is Flippy robot that has the ability to flip burgers or make chicken wings and most importantly, it can be rented by the restaurant owners for $3,000 per month.

White Castle’s burger castle has already deployed Flippy at four of its restaurants and also assured that it will add this technology to its 100 more locations. Meanwhile, Chipotle Mexican Grill is already testing the technology that calls it “Chippy” to make tortilla chips. “The highest value benefit that we bring to a restaurant is not to reduce their expenses, but to allow them to sell more and generate a profit,” Miso CEO Mike Bell told CNBC. Bakery company Panera Bread is also undertaking automation experiments, which has included AI software so that it will have the ability to take drive-thru orders and there is a Miso system that controls the volume of coffee and also controls temperature to perk-up quality.

McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski in an interaction with CNBC said, "The idea of robots and all those things, while it maybe is great for garnering headlines, it’s not practical in the vast majority of restaurants. The economics don’t pencil out. … You’re not going to see that as a broad-based solution anytime soon.