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Restoration robotics accelerates during the coronavirus crisis

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Although there are many professionals in the sector who have tried to move forward robotics-based automated restaurants, so far no one has achieved great success that can be referred to as a turning point in the sector.

For now, robotics solutions for restoration are counted on the fingers of the hand, and although the growth in its application does not stop, it's still very slow. Even more so if we put our eyes outside of Southeast Asia or the USA.. UU., because far from there the implantation is much less.

Nevertheless, the hard times that he has brought coronavirus with them they have been a good breeding ground for this type of business. Some recognized brands in the world of organized catering have taken their first step towards the robotization of their chains. Proof of this may be, for example, the pilot project that recently launched Kentucky Fried Chicken in Moscow city (Russia): an establishment where the only human worker is the manager.

It's not the only venue that recently opened its doors with robotic workers. In Toronto (Canada) the restaurant Box’d is another of the standards of robotization in the restaurant sector.

However, the Box’d bet, run by Mohamad Fakih, is peculiar in terms of its proposal. Far from pretending to automate all processes to minimize the number of people working on the premises, its objective is to improve the user experience and customer service in an innovative way.

Thanks to the savings in wages obtained by the local when making use of robots, the business can afford to hire highly qualified staff with the best training so that you receive, guide, feel, recommend and cater to visitors passing through the futuristic establishment. In this way, customers receive a VIP experience at a bargain price.

According to Fakih, The reason no robotic restaurant has achieved great fame in recent years is because, once the curiosity of the visitors is satisfied, these restaurants offer rather poor service. By concentrating on the technical side of the business, they have lost contact with him human value contributed by the staff.

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A post shared by Box'd by Paramount (@boxdbyparamount)

A) Yes, there are still receptionists and cooks in the Box'd. Although its powers have changed. Those who have disappeared are the waiters.

When a customer arrives at the restaurant, it is difficult to perceive in the first instance that the restaurant is highly automated. This idea begins to permeate when the people who sit down to eat at the table have to place their order. To communicate your command, visitors to Box’d they have to use a app home mobile. With it they can select the dishes they want to make up their menu. The menu is not very extensive, Fakih has reduced the number of available options to the most demanded so that the interface is not cumbersome.

The order reaches the kitchen telematically, without interaction between workers. Thus unnecessary travel and contacts are eliminated, which contributes so much to reducing attention times (and therefore to improve the user experience of diners) how to observe the rules of social distancing imposed by the administration during the pandemic to combat cases of COVID-19 in the region.

It is not the only thing that is achieved by automating this simple process through app Box’d mobile. By submitting the order digitally, the number of human errors that take place is much lower.

But the real jewel of automation in this restaurant is not the communication system between tables and kitchen. Where Fakih's project really shines is when food, already prepared and plated by the chefs, is introduced in a automated ticket office identified by QR codes.

This locker allows food to reach the tables quickly. As soon as the order is ready, various displays throughout the dining room indicate that the food is ready to be collected. That is when the diner can go with their QR code to collect their dishes. Then you will return to your table to taste the delicacies that are prepared in this restaurant specialized in fresh products and healthy meals with a touch of the Middle East.

In a way, Box’d's bet is based on a logical evolution of vending machines that we see daily in the streets, shopping malls and transport stations. The only difference is that the Box’d lockers store high-quality dishes prepared by expert chefs., and that the restaurant offers a perfect atmosphere, hygienic and safe to enjoy tasty and healthy meals such as various exotic varieties of hummus, Lebanese or Syrian salads (fattush and tabbule respectively), the truffled mujaddara.

The project, born in the middle of the coronavirus crisis, has had a great reception even among the workers. And it is that in the Box’d has hired more staff than would correspond if it did not have a robotic box office. The key is in the added value that the staff brings, that is greater in the service of attention and in the kitchen than in the tasks of waitress.

As the first months of operation have developed, Fakih is convinced that Box’d is a new success in the line Paramount Fine Foods. According to your business vision, its only competitors are food delivery companies, and these are overflowing due to the increase in take-out orders that have taken place since the lockdown. It seems that the future is smiling.

About the Author

Article by the editorial team of DiegoCoquillat.com. It has professionals both in the field of hospitality, gastronomy and tourism, and new technologies and innovation.

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