Research finds that robotics will soon be added to the food service industry to offset rising labor costs.

The transformation of the restaurants and food service industry is accelerating pandemic challenges.

Recent study named: "How to Build a Better Robot for Quick Service Restaurants," found the vast majority of respondents is strongly convinced there is no stoppage to the food service industry's robotic transformation, including fast-service restaurants.

According to Dina Zemke (Ball State University): "During our group interviews there was a high level of resignation regarding the inevitability of QSRs incorporating robots,".

"This finding is similar to the acceptability of routine societal change. Participants felt that incorporating robotic technology is a question of when, rather than if." Zemke who conducted the research project noticed that technology designed to perform specific type of physical tasks has recently appeared as an alternative for hospitality businesses as a result of decreasing cost of robotic equipment.  

Many of the industrial service robots are leased, such as robotic; vacuums and assembly weapons.

A commercial robotic vacuum costs between $7,000 - $15,000 if you wish to buy, but they're often rented for around $4 - $6 per hour. It is less than half of the $15 minimum wage many advocate.

"The genesis of this study was the 'Fight for $15' movement, which focused heavily on hourly service jobs, such as those in fast service restaurants that were franchised," she continunous.

"Many restaurant operators cautiously suggested that they could explore robotics as an alternative to absorbing these higher labor costs." Examples include work conducted by robots: vacuums, information displays, and assembly arms for robotic manufacturing that put together pizza and cocktail products.

The study also found that most people still see robots as a novelty.

"At this point, many people have a positive impression of robotic technology that entices guests to visit the location at least once, although they were unsure if the robotics would sufficiently overcome average food or service to entice them to return to the restaurant a second time," according to Zemke.

"This is consistent with past examples of restaurant concepts which provided a highly unique experience but which suffered from the reputation that the guest would visit once because of the 'experience' but would not return because the food was too expensive and/or the quality of the food or the service provided a poor overall value."

Zemke ultimately is convinced that constantly rising labor costs will force the owners of restaurants to turn to robotics.

Read the original article "Restaurant Robots?" at https://www.businesstravelerusa.com/business-traveler-usa-story/robots-in-restaurants