Louise Goldsmith, Head of Marketing, SoftBank Robotics EMEA talks about the challenges faced by the hospitality industry in solving the current staffing crisis.

The Covid pandemic has been catastrophic for many industries. But arguably none more so than the hospitality industry. Coupled with the fallout of the Brexit agreement in the UK, there is a severe shortage of workers that are available to fill open positions in hotels, restaurants, and the service industry in general.

In fact, according to a recent report on the state of hiring in the hospitality industry, there were 190,000 vacant positions from January – March, 2022 – a 47% year on year increase. This quite clearly has a negative effect on how these hotels and restaurants operate, let alone the experience they are therefore able to afford to their guests. Moreover there is also more pressure on employees than ever before, and the strain is beginning to show.

But how can the hospitality industry bounce back as quickly as it needs to without an immediate solution to their problems? Well the answer may lie in robotics.

Various industries have long used robotics solutions to help with jobs that humans are unable to complete. From robotic arms to battlefield robots, that can help secure war zones. But there is mounting evidence that working with a robot can increase corporate productivity, improving levels of guest happiness and aid in customer service.

There is now a cobotic solution that can work alongside cleaning teams to help make spaces cleaner, happier, and healthier. The Whiz autonomous vacuum cleaner. Whiz does the tedious vacuuming chores so that housekeepers and cleaners can focus on other areas that need attention. This could be critical in a market where they cannot find enough staff.

The Keenbot T5 tray delivery system similarly works with kitchen and front of house staff to deliver food and beverages from the kitchen to the dining area, freeing up the waiters and waitresses to focus on giving guests the best possible service. This can increase service efficiency and improve the quality of the guest experience, whilst also ensuring the restaurant floor areas are fully manned with human staff for interaction with guests.

It is obvious that there is still a long way to go before the hospitality sector gets back to its pre-pandemic staffing and consumer levels, but cobotics offers a means of bridging that gap while also fostering healthier, better vacation and customer experiences.

To find out more contact us: Softbank Robotics