In the world of catering, the use of robotics is still a field timidly explored by professionals in the sector. Nevertheless, the trend is to increase in units robotics in bars, restaurants and entertainment venues where drinks are offered.
The technology has had more depth in Southeast Asia and the US. UU., always at the forefront of technological innovations, that in the rest of the world, especially in europe. The IGN group published in 2019 a study in which it determined that the degree of penetration of robots in European restaurants is far from what it should be and that in the coming years we would see a strong implementation of this type of automated solutions in the sector.
The change has not been made wait. This same 2020, because of the coronavirus crisis which has struck the whole of the old continent in late winter and early spring, robotics for catering has made an appearance in more than one place in the eurozone.
Robotics for restoration takes different forms depending on the role or utility that it has to fulfill. A) Yes, we can classify the different machines into:
- Kitchen robots. Mechanical arms included here, preparation lines and other machines capable of transforming fresh products into specific dishes. They are the most complex robots that exist right now on the market, assuming a significant cost that is not acceptable for all operating budgets, but that will undoubtedly reduce their price in the future while expanding their capabilities.
- Delivery robots. They are all those robotic solutions that do not modify the food and whose function is to deliver the requested order to the customer. Within this category, several subgroups can be identified, and in this way we can catalog the different solutions in Casting robots and waitress robots (those who only deliver within the establishment's hall).
In addition to this, there are some models that do not fit fully into one or another category since they have hybrid functions. A case that is proliferating recently and that would belong to this set of hybrid robots are the automated vending machines.
Out of all these solutions, the one that is gaining the greatest relevance in Europe today are waitress robots. In full increase of infections by SARS-CoV-2, hygiene and social distancing measures are more important than ever. The restoration experiences contactless or contactless appear everywhere, and those responsible for the sector's premises are racking their brains to operate within the restrictive legal framework that is imposed on them by the public administration, at the same time they try to get an economic return that allows them to remain open.
The waitress robots are a suitable solution for restaurants belonging to smaller chains and even independent businesses with a medium or high volume of influx. The initial cost of each unit is below the 10 000 Dollars, having some very affordable models already on the market, as in the case of Dibo Delivery is an automated platform waiter robot created to work serving food from one point to another, with the least human intervention.
The use of waiters robots in the restaurant achieves several objectives at the same time:
- Reduce the expense associated with salaries and staff facing the public in the restaurant
- Recover consumer confidence by undertaking a comprehensive reform in the establishment's mode of operation
- Safeguard social distance at all times
- Obtain a competitive advantage over other stores in the area of influence
- Minimize the number of errors that occur when delivering orders to tables
- Accept and become familiar early with a technology that is destined to be an important part of the future of the industry's business
Among the European restaurants that have chosen to include robotic staff among their waitress staff recently is the Dadawan, a local specialized in fish, seafood and other seafood that opts for the Asian fusion style with a menu abundantly populated with South Korean dishes.
Dadawan is a small Dutch chain with three locations, and now they have dared to try their luck with the robot waiters at their restaurant in Maastricht, west of the country. The models purchased are different: one specially designed to work in the restaurant's reception and another two that carry out the tasks of distributing the tables.
Despite the reluctance of some customers, who feared that these automata could eliminate jobs in the midst of an economic recession, the Maastricht Dadawan squad are very happy with their new co-workers.
Those responsible for the Asian fusion food restaurant also welcome the decision to acquire these three robots. Many passersby are intrigued by the lively reception robot, Others breathe easy at last knowing that they can go out to eat outside the home without this having an impact on their health.
A little further south, in Spain, these camaraderie robots also begin to appear. At the Baviera Bar in Pamplona, residents and tourists enjoy the presence of Alexia, an anthropomorphic waiter robot manufactured by the national company COOK.
The model used there had been in development for months, but the coronavirus crisis accelerated its release to the market, as indicated by Patxi Larumbe, executive director of Cocuus, in interview for Omicrono. To meet demanding self-imposed deadlines, the technology used was simplified; A) Yes, instead of using GPS positioning systems or obstacle detection sensors, it was preferred to use a magnetic stripe tracking system. However, In Cocuus they already have more advanced models that have the previously mentioned technologies installed as standard and are more versatile. Prices, depending on the performance of the maid robot, are in the range from 4000 a 8000 euros.
The waiters robots and other robotics applications for restoration are becoming more normal. Of course they are no longer an eccentricity from distant countries: a new revolution in the sector peek around the corner.