Radiant166 restaurant at the Marriott Fort Lauderdale Airport in Florida has found a new busser, and she is very efficient at her job. That’s because she’s a robot named Betty Bot, who has been programmed by Bear Robotics to perform tasks that a busboy/girl is usually responsible for.
“The robot serves as a food runner, and also comes equipped with a bus tub,” said Mychal Milian, the hotel’s GM. “It can bring food from the kitchen expo line to the table, and once the guest leaves, the server can then bus the table and send the dirty dishes back to the stewarding area.”
Kitchen staffers will help load food and drink orders onto Betty Bot and send her into the dining room to deliver them, allowing human staffers to continue to focus on customer-facing interactions. Load her up with dirty dishes and she’ll bring them to the dishwashing station.
Betty Bot was programmed to be a “Servi” by Bear Robotics. “They use technology similar to robotic vacuums to map the floor, along with walls and other items that can be bumped into,” said Milian. “The Servi has sensors and cameras around it that sense when there is something obstructing it, and it has the technology to go around this item to get to its destination.”
Betty Bot fills a need for the restaurant as the hotel deals with the labor shortage that is plaguing the industry. Millian was fortunate to see a Servi robot in action at a Miami restaurant, where he saw firsthand how it freed up servers to have more time to interact with customers.
“This gave the server much more time to spend on the floor with the guest, and let the robot do the work of running back and forth to the kitchen, and back and forth from the dishwashing station,” he explained. “For us, we have a kitchen that serves two different hotels, room service and banquets, so finding something to give the guest a more pleasant experience and ease some burden of our servers and bartenders was a no-brainer.”
So far, Betty Bot has been a hit with the restaurant’s guests. “[They] love Betty Bot,” said Millian. “It’s definitely a great photo and video opportunity. Guests are also impressed with the cutting-edge technology we are using.”
Bear Robotics has already deployed a Servi robot at another Florida property, Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa. “We will look to add to more locations across Florida and the rest of the U.S. each month going forward,” said Juan Higueros, cofounder/COO, Bear Robotics. “Marriott HQ will be lining up deployments, so we’ll see where they decide.”