After failing to attract applicants for open server positions, the owner of a Miami restaurant chain has filled the jobs with employees that will never complain, ask for raises or take sick days: robots.
Carlos Gazitua, CEO of Sergio's Restaurants, says he came up with idea to purchase robots when he realized his skeleton crew couldn't handle all the tables in his eatery. "They just were walking way too much; the servers couldn’t take all of our tables," Gazitua says. "Thirty percent of our restaurants were closed and that's where robotics came in. We thought of the idea of would if the servers could be more with the guests and we could take that hard part of doing the server’s job and just use robotics."
The robots -- all named "Astro" -- are controlled by staffers using a remote walkie-talkie system to direct them to tables, according to Gazitua. Although Gazitua says Astro isn't steady enough to served beverages, the robot program has been a huge success. He says his human servers have been making more in tips because they've been able to get food to their customers more quickly.
Is the employee shortage because too many people are collecting unemployment and don't want to work? Could robots end up replacing restaurant staffers?
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