Robotic Bartenders Shake up F&B

BILOXI, MS—Bartenders are going bionic as they shake up hotel F&B to create memorable moments for the on-property cocktail scene.

At the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi, two robotic arms can muddle, stir, shake and pour a cocktail of choice, offering 140 different ingredients and with a memory of countless cocktail combinations.

Created in Torino, Italy, by Makr Shakr, the technology enables bars and restaurants to have a tireless bartender available to serve up to 120 drinks per hour. An attention grabber, the novelty beckons patrons to the bar.

“Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi and Twin River Management Group are both all about looking toward cutting-edge technology and how it can create better guest experiences,” said Frank Martucci, director of beverage & nightlife, Twin River Management Group. “It was implemented on a major cruise line a few years ago and brought much success. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi was fortunate enough to be the first property on the Gulf Coast or anywhere on the eastern half of the United States to be able to offer this award-winning robotic bar system. As we all know, the hotel industry is extremely competitive; we want our guests to be able to experience things at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi that they can’t experience anywhere else.”

To create and order drinks, guests access a customized app on preset tablets where all of the orders and ingredients added are displayed on four LED screens.

“All guests are greeted by our Robo Bar Ambassadors who properly ID to make sure they are over 21 years of age and ensure guests are not over-served,” said Martucci. “The Robo Bar is very interactive with a lot of communication between our ambassadors and our guests.”

Among hoteliers, there’s a focus on maintaining the human touch in hospitality. The Robo Bar hits on both levels of human touch and technology.

“All of our guests are welcomed by an ambassador who walks them through the Robo Bar concept. Working with our ambassadors, guest can order one of our classic cocktails, craft signature cocktails or become creative and make their own cocktail creation,” said Martucci. “The Robo Bar has a lot of unique offerings, and we have only scratched the surface on implementing this experience to our guests.”

For hoteliers looking to get on board, Martucci recommends surveying the landscape of options before making a final decision.

“There is so much technology out there for the hospitality industry, we would recommend they take the time to look at it all and figure out what best fits their individual needs to enhance revenue, control costs and create the ultimate guest experience,” he advised.

The Robo Bar celebrated its grand opening on January 25, and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi has already seen an increase in business not only from hotel guests, but from locals and guests staying at other hotels in the area.

“Massive amounts of people are using social media platforms to share their Robo Bar experience,” Martucci said.