Artificial intelligence is here to stay in the hospitality sector, according to an Oregon restaurateur who caused a stir in her small town when she rented a robot to assist her understaffed servers.

“Plato works 12 hours a day,” Sherry Andrus said of her new waiter, who was set up to deliver meal plates from the kitchen to the tables where they were to be placed. He works nonstop from 10:00 in the morning till 10:00 at night. He doesn’t accept tips. And that’s just the depressing truth.

According to study results released this week, small firms who have used AI are enamored with the technology, with the majority claiming that AI helped them reduce expenses and increase efficiency.

CR0029830 Cartoos : New grill house in Aberdeen will have robot waiters serving at it Pictured is owner Sunny Bhatti with the two robot waiters / waitresses Picture by Paul Glendell 03/08/2021

In the little community of Estacada, Andrus invested in a restaurant called The Cazadero in 2018. Since then, the minimum wage in Oregon has risen by over $4 to $14.20 per hour, and the state does not create any exceptions for jobs that receive tips. Inflation drove a sharp increase in food prices.

It has been difficult to find trustworthy personnel, a problem that many small firms face. A National Restaurant Association research found that over 90% of restaurateurs cited recruitment and retention as “significant challenges.” Many restaurant owners claimed their present workforce levels couldn’t meet demand.

Andrus remarked, “You already have a modest pool to draw from. It’s made more difficult by the fact that we’re in a rural location.

Andrus therefore attended the Bar & Restaurant Expo in March with the intention of investigating whether robots could shoulder some of the workload. She returned home with Plato, the friendly “cobiot” from United Robotics Group.

Every speaker I heard at the Expo that particular week stressed the importance of adopting technology in the restaurant sector if you want to succeed, she added.

United Robotics Group reports that so far, about twenty companies have implemented Plato across the nation. According to Greg McEntyre of URG, the earliest users were small restaurants.

They may only have one or two employees working at any given moment, so this will help them serve food a little bit more quickly, according to McEntyre.

According to McEntyre, AI should be used to support people rather than to subordinate them. He hopes that technology and tradition continue to coexist in harmony within the hospitality sector.

Some restaurants are going completely robotic, he added, so you interact with a faceless machine while someone else delivers your food. “I’m hoping that through all of this, we actually manage to preserve the human-to-human ties because that’s truly what binds us all together. Furthermore, AI is merely a tool.


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