RANS Robotics Paper/Presentation for the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia
RANS Robotics Paper/Presentation for the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia
Types of Robotics (Front of House vs Back of House)
The facility has an opportunity to choose from the various forms of robotics that could facilitate their operations. Being able to choose the right robotics makes it possible to achieve the targeted objectives, and also offers the chance to minimize the costs of having to switch from one form to the other. Consequently, it is necessary to engage in thorough analysis of available options before settling on the most suitable one. Consequently, this section elaborates the need to consider both front of house and back of house robots, while paying considerable attention to the potential merits associated with each of these forms. It shows how front of the house robots facilitate operations in the sections where customers dine, while back of house focuses on robots that help in areas where customers are not likely to visit. Paying considerable attention to how the restaurant will gain from front of house and back of house robots offer an opportunity to improve organizational operations and increase productivity.
Front of House Robots
Front of house robots refer to those that are applicable in all the buyer touch points or areas in a restaurant. The front of house in hospitality refers to where consumers make their orders and dine. It encompasses everything from the waiting facility to the host stand, restrooms, bar, dining room, and outside seating area (Guszkowski, 2022). In other words, the front of the house comprises all areas of a hotel or restaurant where customers can visit or go.
Thus, front house robots refer to those robots that facilitate operations in places where customers sit or are likely to go or visit. Such robots would help in various functions, including taking orders, delivering order, and ensuring cleanliness within the facility. One of the possible merits of using front of house robots is that they provide an opportunity to handle smaller issues and increased urge from buyers as the restrictions put in place to combat COVID-19 continue to relax (Guszkowski, 2022). Moreover, front of house robots are beneficial because they offer an opportunity to perform a lot of duties compared to human beings, which serves as an added advantage to firms that are considering cutting their labor costs. Besides, more front of house robots are effective because they perform duties more precisely and are not susceptible to errors as it would happen with human operators (Guszkowski, 2022). Another merit of using such technology is that it would cut on overcrowding that is likely to occur when employees are tasked with the duty of supplying orders to the various clients. Therefore, the technology is more likely to be handy now that the hospitality sector is striving to overcome the effects of COVID-19. However, that does not imply that front of the house robots do not have their limitations. An evident limitation with the technology is that it is relatively costly and those firms that do not generate enough revenue can hardly afford it (Guszkowski, 2022). The other challenge is that the robots could not be as flexible and dynamic as human employees who are able to make abrupt choices depending on the circumstance. Nonetheless, the in front of house technology is set to transform how restaurants conduct their operations.
The demand for front house robots is on the demand and more manufacturers acknowledge that the product has witnessed an increase in demand over the recent past. For example, Bear Robotics that specializes on manufacturing robot servers, has generated about $81 million to foster automation in the restaurant sector (Guszkowski, 2022). The company’s initial product, Serve, performed well in the market, with the entirely autonomous tray on wheels having the capacity to deliver orders (Guszkowski, 2022). Users were overwhelmed with the device arguing that it helped advance consumer experience and makes employees lives easier by intervening for some of the tasks that could otherwise be conducted by human beings in the dining room. Bear Robot is working on another innovation known as Rita that would facilitate in front of house services (Guszkowski, 2022). The company is optimistic that the innovation will contribute significantly towards freeing up team members to pay more attention to customers and make them feel welcomed and special. The company is also confident that the using such technology provides more time to engage with clients rather than running back and forth from one area to the other (Guszkowski, 2022). Bear Robots and other similar manufacturers are optimistic that more of such technology will appear going forward, and will significantly transform how restaurants conduct their in front of house services.
Back of House
On the contrary, the back of the house in a restaurant refers to the places that customers do not get an opportunity to see or visit. This often includes the backyard or kitchen where the food is prepared and cooked (Rosenberg, 2022). The back of the house also encompass employee back rooms as well as other office spaces owned by the facility (Rosenberg, 2022). The back of house serves as the central command in a restaurant because all preparations and cooking happen here before the food makes it way to the consumer’s table.
Therefore, back of house robotics are those that facilitate restaurant operations in areas other than the dining place or where customers can see or visit. The urge for back of house robots became rampant at the wake of COVID-19 that quickly changed consumer dining desires (Destination Canada, 2021), restaurants in different places had to adjust to safeguard and boost their operations (Rosenberg, 2022). More restaurants embraced back of the house robots to help in cleaning and cooking services to minimize how humans interact with food. The approach would restore confidence among consumers who would feel like the organization does all it can to safeguard its buyers against potential infection (Rosenberg, 2022). Other factors and needs have also boosted the adoption of back of house automation. One particular urge that has pushed restaurants to embrace back of house robots is to improve the functioning of point of sale (POS) (Rosenberg, 2022). The adoption has made it possible to bring together orders brought forward via different physical and virtual avenues. More restaurants are investing in this area because evidence suggest that streamlining the organizational POS makes it possible to handle orders from diverse sources, and can automatically save the workforce while avoiding possible blunders (Rosenberg, 2022). For instance, orders fed through the organizational servers and via mobile or online apps can appear on the same ticket without disrupting the back of house activities.
Back of house technology also provides an opportunity to organize all orders, without considering the channels from which they emerge. The technology offers the chance to synchronize both back and front house with effective and customized notifications and layouts that suit the service provider’s individual wants (Rosenberg, 2022). Such technology also offer the chance to sync with customer self-service ordering alternatives, thus helping the workforce to remain organized and advances the overall consumer experience. The kitchen display system is an example of a back of house robot that facilitates such operations effectively. Furthermore, the cooks are not largely focused on what the consumers plan to order or eat. Instead, they pay more attention to filling the order tickets and number (Rosenberg, 2022). As a solution, customized ordering systems can print the order tickets at the same time and provide an opportunity for the staff to pay more attention to what should be served first or packed for delivery (Rosenberg, 2022). Thus, back of house robots come as a major reprieve for restaurant operators.
Thus, the section calls on restaurant operators to know how they can apply both in front of the house and back of the house robots depending on their needs. A facility may choose to install the robots in both stations or may select one area that requires more attention in terms of labor. The most important thing to remember is that each of these productions have their potential merits and limitations that could either foster or disrupt business operations. It is the reason why the management must engage in thorough analysis first before settling on either or both front of house or back of house technology. Nonetheless, failing to take note of how such technological forms are likely to impact on an operator could deter the attempts to achieve the targeted goals, or could result in undesirable outcomes.
Destination Canada. (2021). Tourism’s big shift: Key trends shaping the future of Canada’s tourism industry. Retrieved from https://www.destinationcanada.com/sites/default/files/archive/1515-Tourism%27s%20Big%20Shift%3A%20Key%20Trends%20Shaping%20the%20Future%20of%20Canada%27s%20Tourism%20Industry%20-%20November%202021/Destination%20Canada_Tourism%26%23039%3Bs%20Big%20Shift_Report_November%202021_EN.pdf
Guszkowski, J. (2022). Bear Robotics raises $81M for front-of-house robots. Retrieved from https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/technology/bear-robotics-raises-81m-front-house-robots
Rosenberg, E. (2022). How restaurants are automating back-of-house operations. Retrieved from https://squareup.com/us/en/townsquare/restaurants-back-of-house-automation