CNN Business reveals that robots, having basically taken over manufacturing jobs, are now moving into service industry positions, replacing wait staff at a Latin restaurant in Dallas:
It was a “no-brainer,” said Espartaco Borga, the owner of La Duni since 2001, who told CNN he’s never seen the industry in such a dire situation.
After the Covid-19 pandemic and a major ice storm in the area, the Latin restaurant wondered how it would stay afloat. But little by little, customers started coming back.
“In the dining room, all of a sudden, it gets completely full and our takeout and delivery remain the same. The only part that didn’t come back were the employees,” Borga said.
“All of a sudden we had 50 to 100% more business than we did, even prior to Covid, with a third of the staff. So everybody was getting overwhelmed, overworked and frustrated, both customers and staff,” he said.
So Borga decided to contact American Robotech, a robotics company based in Plano, Texas, to see if it offered solutions.
“The very next day they showed up, they mapped the restaurant, and they assigned the tables numbers within 45 minutes,” Borga said. “After a day, the girl at the expo line was in love with this because her arm didn’t hurt after carrying 60 trays in a day.”
The robots cost about $15 a day each, Borga said. And the cost savings help him pay his employees better for working less, he said.
He said the robots weren’t taking anybody’s job — because he can’t find people to fill those positions. “No one wants to work in hospitality right now,” he said.
Apparently, servers do accompany the robots on their rounds. Ordering is just like filling in a mobile order at home. And the machines will even sing “Happy Birthday.”