Restaurant owner turns to robot server amid worker shortage

A Miami restaurant owner told "Fox & Friends" on Friday that he's turned to robots amid a struggle to hire new workers, despite offering increased wages, health care plans, and 401(k) accounts.

"We were offering an increase of wages, health care plans, 401(k)s, but people just weren’t applying and like many in the industry, we didn’t know what to do," said Sergio's Restaurants CEO Carlos Gazitua.

After struggling with staffing issues due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gazitua invested in robots to help take customers’ orders and even deliver food to tables.  

Gazitua said that some restaurants in south Florida were closing for a few days a week because they were "burned out" from overworking servers due to short staffing.

After noticing that his servers could not handle the overabundance of tables, they had to rethink the way service was done.

"They just were walking way too much, the servers couldn’t take all of our tables. 30% 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," he explained.

Gazitua said that staffers use a walkie-talkie system to direct where the robot, "Astro," will go for each table. He said the result has been servers making more money because they can handle more tables at a time.


The robots do not serve beverages yet.

On June 26, Florida is expected to stop supplying unemployed citizens with the supplemental $300-a-week unemployment benefit, the state's Department of Economic Opportunity announced. Some economists have said the extra unemployment benefits are disincentivizing people from looking for work. 

For more, go to Fox News.