Story at a glance:

  • Restaurateurs are looking to save money during the pandemic, which has caused financial strain in almost every sector of life.
  • Servi, a server robot, costs about $999 per month, or about $12,000 a year.

Restaurateurs like Carlos Gazitua, owner and chief executive of the Sergio’s Restaurant chain in Florida, might want to hire robots over humans during these economic times.

Gazitua invested in a robot that serves people their food — a job usually held by humans before the pandemic changed everything, The New York Times reported.


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The robot, Servi, costs about $999 per month. According to salary.com, a human server would make between $24,387 and $31,469 annually, while Servi’s annual cost, including installation and support, is $12,000.

The robots deliver food from the kitchen to the table, navigating with lasers and sensors. Because the robots allow wait staff to spend more time talking to customers and serve more tables, tips have surged, the Times reported. 

Robots from other manufacturers can also be used to clean bathrooms and floors and even fry food and make cocktails.

Many eateries are understaffed due to a work shortage, and finding employees has not been easy.

As Changing America previously reported, a significant implication of this pandemic is a worker shortage — people’s work expectations have changed, and they demand more as they face economic challenges.

September jobs numbers, for example, surpassed August's under President Biden’s administration. However, there were 8.4 million people listed as unemployed, while about 10 million jobs were available.

"We couldn’t find anyone,” Gazitua told the Times about a recent hiring push. 

In May, dozens of Florida restaurant and hotel owners were present with more than 1,000 available jobs at a job fair.

“We had 40 employers and only four people showed up!” Gazitua told the Times. “It was bizarre — all the employers thought we were on ‘Candid Camera’.”

Robotics companies, like Miso Robotics, Bear Robotics, Peanut Robotics, Knightscope, SoftBank Robotics and Makr Shakr, are thus on the rise as hotel and restaurant owners are inquiring about their services.


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Published on Oct 19, 2021