One Florida Restaurant Fights Employee Shortage...with Robots. This Is What Happened

Malinda Fusco
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This past year has been horrible for the restaurant businesses. I'm sure we've all had a favorite restaurant or two close down already. One Florida restaurant invested in robotics to fight the employee shortage.

This article is about how one restaurant is utilizing high-tech robotics to fight the employee shortage in Florida and how it has helped their business in many unexpected ways.

One Restaurant Fights Back...with Robots
Screenshot by author from Fox News Video

As you know, the restaurant business in Florida is suffering a lot. Now that the pandemic is lessening, restaurants are looking to serve the public again, but they're faced with a new problem: a lack of employees. They are facing a hiring crisis as many people in Florida are still on unemployment, and COVID is still a health scare as well.

Sergio's Restaurants did not escape the staffing shortage, but they refuse to close their doors. CEO Carlos Gazitua commented on their persistence and resilience throughout this hard time.

"We're seeing a lot of restaurants closed a couple of days a week, but we don't want to close, we’re a community restaurant."

That persistence and resilience have led the CEO to come up with some unique measures to save the restaurant...including robots.

The robots that Carlos purchased for his restaurants are designed to make the employee's life easier, not replace them. They help carry food and trays to tables and even take orders! They're definitely a cool, modern approach to a very real problem.

Even better than simply helping the employees out, the robots have a few other benefits for the staff.

Can Robots and Humans Coexist? What the Restaurant Found After
Michael Browning/Unsplash

Turns out, robots and humans can coexist, and quite well too! The robots at Sergio's won't be taking away any jobs from people, as some are concerned, but will actually help in a few more ways than expected.

Not only did the robots save the wait staff "25 miles of walking, carrying 15-20 pounds," according to Carlos, but they also helped the employees increase their wages.

"We were able to increase their wages by 25 to 30 percent just because they were able to take some tables."

So, by giving the robots jobs that are automated more easily, the wait staff were able to have time to wait for more tables, thus making more money.

What do you think about incorporating robots into restaurant work as a way to combat staff shortages?

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