Automation is making a deeper foray into the food and beverage supply chain as companies look to implement social distancing and contactless transactions to keep workers and consumers safe in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Thankfully, Rosé the Robot and Tipsy Robot are doing their part to make sure the much needed Happy Hour isn’t disrupted.
Hotel Trio in Healdsburg, California saw an expanded role for Rosé the Robot, which the property deployed several years ago to deliver a variety of items to guests’ rooms. In March, the robot went from “novelty to necessity” in order to provide guests with a touchless experience, explained Scott Satterfield, Hotel Trio’s general manager, who added that the robot is thoroughly sanitized after each delivery.
Meanwhile, Tipsy Robot in Las Vegas is also experiencing a renewed appreciation for its robotic bartenders that mix up drinks ordered by customers via an app, then delivers the drinks on a conveyor belt. The Tipsy Robot, located inside the Planet Hollywood hotel, opened in 2017. Like other dining and drink establishments in Las Vegas it closed briefly this spring, but it has since reopened.
Aside from delivering a bottle of wine to a guest’s hotel room or mixing a drink, there are other areas in the food supply chain that are seeing increased adoption of robotic automation, such as fast food environments where repetition and efficiency are key, or for tasks such as flipping a burger, slicing, or putting a pickle on a sandwich.
However, the consumer experience is an important consideration. While a burger-flipping robot may be acceptable in a fast food restaurant, human interaction is preferred in upscale dining environments.
So, it seems Sammy the Sommelier may be a few years away.