Food service robots won’t replace cooks, prep positions, or handle side work, but they can reduce or eliminate many of the job requirements of a “runner” or host.
In most healthcare settings this position is commonly referred to as a diet aide.
By reducing passes, runs, and deliveries there is potential to reduce the number of diet aides needed by one part-time person per shift, or two part-time people per workweek while maintaining an extremely effective and efficient operation. In addition, the remaining diet aides are able to complete more meaningful work such as customizing meal orders at the bedside with residents, preparing garnishes for meals, preparing desserts and cold items using speed-scratch instead of strictly convenience foods, or wrapping utensils instead of using plastic-bagged pre-wraps. All of these activities can elevate the dining experience all without a significant increase in labor costs.
Food Service Robots are typically able to operate for 10-12 hours at a time and are available 7 days a week. The use of robotic food servers can greatly reduce the disruption of call-outs and short-staffing.
Robot Busser and Server Return on Investment
For many communities confronted with the upfront costs of purchasing or leasing a food service robot, it can seem like a significant investment. However, as stated before, a food service robot can potentially replace one part-time diet aide shift per day, which typically translates to two part-time diet aides from the employee roster. a part-time shift is six hours, meaning these two employees can cover about 42 hours of labor per week.
To hire for these roles, a company will likely invest:
- $2,000 Recruiting + Onboarding
- Another $1500 each for training.
An estimate, annually, these roles will receive $41,000 in compensation and an additional $2,870 for employer taxes.
In addition, with the average turnover rate for workers in food service sector being around 102% in 2022, the training and onboarding costs are likely to occur annually.
By comparison, the cost to lease a Avoda robot for 24 months is around $900 per month.
A significantly savings over hiring two part-time diet aides. Lastly, these two positions only account for 42 hours of time worked whereas the food service robots can work upwards of 91 hours a week.
Most Avoda customers qualify for 24/7 live support.
Server Waiter Robot in Healthcare Summary
In conclusion, it was determined that robot food servers function effectively as “runners” in CCRC dining room settings but could also be used to make deliveries of “call-down” items and snack and beverage passes to predetermined stations in skilled nursing or rehabilitation settings.
They did not eliminate or reduce resident engagement during our trials. In fact, the residents seemed to enjoy seeing the service robot. It was a novelty and something to talk about, many had their own pet names for the device.
Using the robot as a kitchen runner at these facilities allows the servers and hosts to remain on the dining room floor, ensuring orders are taken in a timely manner and food is delivered expediently and at the proper temperatures.
Robotic food servers can create operational efficiencies when used effectively. They have long battery life and can function for up to 13 hours without recharging, producing upwards of 92 hours of constant labor hours per week.
Robotic food servers and bussers can complete many of the repetitive and time-consuming tasks currently assigned to a diet aide. It would be possible in some scenarios to replace up to two part-time diet aide roles with a robotic food server without sacrificing meaningful resident engagement. If these positions can be eliminated from the staffing pattern, there is a significant return on investment in year one and a continual return in years two and three
The success of food server robots in a residential healthcare setting will likely be determined by the dining department’s ability to utilize the technology effectively to create operational efficiency and cost reductions.
If an organization is interested in implementing a robotic food server program they can reach us anytime at +1 (646) 494-6771 or at firstname.lastname@example.org