You may have already encountered hospitality robots at local restaurants such as Crab Du Jour in Cherry Hill and Smashburger in Maple Shade. Robots performing hospitality tasks have been around for almost twenty years in Asian countries. They are finally catching on in the USA, with service robots coming to the greater Philadelphia area.
I recently spoke with Dan Rivkees, Marketing Manager of Voorhees-based Automated Robotics, about his company’s autonomous restaurant server robots and its plans to expand the use of robotic services in local and regional restaurants, hotels, etc.
Automated Robotics is a new product/service offered by Advanced Hospitality (AHS), a point of sale (POS) and credit card processing company headquartered in Voorhees Township. AHS is a local distributor and service provider for Shanghai-based Keenon Robotics, the industry leader in automated restaurant robots. Since 2010, Keenon has designed and manufactured delivery robots, disinfection robots, guide robots, and hotel hospitality robots.
AHS chose Keenon because they have an office and warehouse with dedicated staff in the US. As a local distributor, they handle all of the robots’ programming, installations, training, and servicing.
“Contrary to popular belief, the robots don’t replace jobs; they improve the overall customer experience,” Rivkees stated.
While labor shortages are still a pervasive issue for the hospitality industry in pandemic times, employing service robots seems like a good idea for some businesses, as restaurant robots have many other benefits.
“The robots become an attraction of sorts,” Rivkees expanded. “Children especially love them and interact with them. The robots actually increase return visits to the restaurant.”
When discussed on the South Jersey Food Scene group recently, the topic of restaurant robots came up and became one of the more popular conversations. Folks were fascinated by the delivery robot at Smashburger, with many community members stopping by to check it out.
Rivkees was enthusiastic about sharing that restaurants that add service robots can serve more customers efficiently, relieve overworked staff, helping to improve their overall customer satisfaction.
“These automated robots help speed up service,” Rivkees explained. “They also free up staff to ensure customers have a better experience. Restaurants will have more happy customers, which will improve revenue.”
AHS Robots are eager to get more of these robots into local restaurants. The company offers live demonstrations at the Voorhees facility, where restaurants can see them in action before considering. Restaurants can purchase a robot, finance it, or lease it from AHS. They provide post-purchase consulting and servicing, ensuring the restaurant gets the best use and return on its investment.
“These robots help simplify restaurant operations, provide a clean and safe environment for customers, and give people more confidence when dining out.”
The future of hospitality is here. Have you encountered restaurant robots yet? What are your thoughts? Fad or fun? Let me know in the comments.