The use of robots in the food service industry is on the rise, from robotic steak-flippers to robotic bartenders. Certainly, advancements in robot technology have played a substantial role in its widespread adoption. However, inflation and rising labor costs have also played important roles.
Regardless of the impetus for the shift, the introduction of robotics into restaurants will alter the landscape of the food service sector.
What’s the Current State of Robotics in Restaurants?
The field of restaurant robotics focuses on the automation formerly performed by human workers. Both the back-of-the-house and front-of-the-house of a restaurant may be responsible for these duties, which might vary widely. Tasks that can be automated because they are either too mundane or too dangerous for humans to handle have the added benefit of being completed more quickly, effectively, and precisely by machines.
A closer study into the phenomenon demonstrates that robotics in restaurants is here to stay and can really have a beneficial overall impact when integrated with human labor, despite the concerns of some who fear for the future of human employment in the industry.
This extensive shift toward automation was certainly influenced by the COVID-19 epidemic, but the restaurant and food service industry had been faltering for quite some time prior to that.
Due to declining consumer expenditure and excessive labor turnover, robotics are becoming increasingly important in the restaurant industry.
A staffing shortage caused by the Great Resignation of 2021 has not improved the situation. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics also found that in 2021 the quit rate for people working in the hospitality industry was 6.6% per month, which was much higher than the national average. In addition, there is a 6.2% decrease in the number of kitchen staff in full-service establishments compared to the beginning of this year. To address labor shortages, as many as half of U.S. restaurant owners intend to implement automation technology within the next two to three years.
As a result of these variables, the door is now open for robotic and automated restaurant technology to enter the market.
Robots Coming To The Rescue
Of course, it isn’t just the restaurant industry embracing robots amid labor shortages. Investing in automation is now being seen as a necessary tool in several industries to support employees and perform difficult tasks.
From January to September, North American companies purchased over 35,000 industrial robots, a 24% increase over the same period in 2021. Retail stores, hotels, construction, agriculture and real estate companies are just a few of the industries utilizing robots.
Among the industries in most need of more staff is arguably law enforcement and security. The number of crimes taking place across the United States is already too much for law enforcement to handle. The US population is over 331 million, but there are only 660,288 full-time law enforcement officers and just over a million security guards.
Fortunately, new developments like Autonomous Security Robots (ASRs) are being created and have already proven to be effective solutions.
With the help of autonomous robots, businesses are taking security to the next level. Ally Financial, a leading digital financial services company, recently teamed up with security company Securitas to use robots. The robots come from Knightscope, Inc. (NASDAQ:KSCP).
Knightscope is a Silicon Valley-based provider of cutting-edge security technology. The company manufactures Autonomous Security Robots (ASRs) equipped with cutting-edge technology that has been demonstrated to aid in the battle against crime by serving as a deterrent, a detector, and a reporter. When it comes to ensuring the public’s safety, this company may prove to be the single most important development in history.
Knightscope was founded in 2013, has used four cutting-edge technologies (autonomous self-driving, robotics, artificial intelligence, and electric vehicles) to develop its own proprietary technology, and has used it in the field for more than 1.8 million hours. The company has raised over $120 million in funding, attracted over 35,000 investors, and it has gone public on the NASDAQ in January 2022.
Knightscope’s effective countermeasures and tools can be used by law enforcement and commercial businesses in the United States to improve their preparedness in the future.
The Company added four new contracts for a combined seven Autonomous Security Robots (ASRs) at the end of December, bringing the total number of ASRs sold by the company to 102.
To date, Knightscope’s clientele has included not only the government and public institutions but also organizations ranging from the Fortune 1000 to arenas, hospitals, universities, warehouses, and factories.
Featured Image @ Freepik
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