Room service robots are being deployed at hotels around the country, aiding staff at a time when the industry is facing a labor crunch caused by the coronaviruses.
Savioke Relay Plus robots take simple tasks such as room service, freeing up hotel staff to focus on more important tasks during a labor crunch, Steve Cousins told FOX Business.
The job of a robot is to deliver items from the front desk to guest rooms.
They're not a replacement for workers but an added arsenal that hotels can rely on for extra support during the epidemic, according to Cousins.
It's more valuable for the front desk staff to be checking people in than running stuff up to a room, Cousins said. If the hotel manager has to come out and help you do deliveries, they're not selling rooms, which is their primary job. The robots, which are available 24 7, allow service staff to spend more time with customers and increase employee satisfaction, he said.
In 2014, the company released an earlier version of the robots, named Relay, but they weren't able to use the elevators by themselves. Cousins said the company had overcome their latest version, the Relay Plus, which can handle pushing the elevator buttons.
The newer version was released in December. Since then, the company has received orders from hotels across the nation, from California to New York.
The general manager of the Dream Hollywood hotel in Los Angeles, Vaughn Davis, said their room service revenues have doubled in the past year and half.
Davis said that by taking over the low-value delivery tasks, our service staff can concentrate on high-ticket, high-reward deliveries like champagne and special orders. This division of labor helps with talent acquisition and retention because team members don't get burned out doing less interesting tasks. Cousins expects to double its fleet of robots around the nation by the end of the year.
I just think that we have a labor shortage that's not going to go away. He said that we have a population that wants to do more meaningful work. I think it is a good thing to add robots to their arsenal of what helps them do their work.