Will Robots Take Over Hospitality?

Will human waiters become an endangered species? When visiting a hospitality venue you could be escorted to your table by a robotic waiter, or order food at your own time via a QR Code or at a self-serve Kiosk, and even have your food delivered to your table by a robotic waiter. Whilst the evolution of technology is interesting, it's also met with wariness by many members of the public and can lead to interesting questions like...

Are we about to live in a robotic world like The Terminator?

Scepticism of Robotics

With so many movies being produced where robots are the villains, it's no wonder people are cautious of robotics being implemented in everyday life. However, it's important to note that robots aren't about to take over the world. They're just simply being implemented in some venues as a hospitality solution to the problems often faced.

Robotics have been specifically designed to do the tedious tasks that staff struggle with which allows the staff to be moved to more important tasks. A hospitality business can implement robots into its venue from as low as £8 a day which is a cost-effective solution rather than solely relying on human staff who come with the disadvantage of holidays, sickness and training costs. Hospitality Robots are not only carrying out jobs competently, roaming autonomously and interacting with customers but they are improving a customer's overall dining experience.

It's always important to note that robotics are often implemented into hospitality venues to make the work easier for staff, not to take the jobs from humans.

YoSushi Robotics


Debunking The Media

Many people have an uneasiness about robotics due to pop culture. For example, in a study carried out in 2021 the results show that "50% of people wouldn't trust a robot to cook a meal for them in a restaurant". This result is expected due to people not interacting with robots and not being used to them. However, if this research were to be conducted in years like 2004 or 2015 the results would be a lot more negative. This is due to the release of films like iRobot and Avengers: Age of Ultron where robots go bad and are the villains. People who have seen these films often come with scepticism about robotics which is to be expected. However, it's important to note that many hospitality robots are simply created to carry plates and escort customers to a point on a map. The media representation of robotics can easily be debunked as the likelihood of a lot of scenarios happening is zero.


SPARK Robotics

The newest addition to the SPARK EPoS robotics family is BellaBot, a Premium Delivery Robot with cat-like features. With multiple operational modes, Bella can escort customers to a table, sing Happy Birthday and even bring food to the customer. With inbuilt lights on the trays, Bella can indicate which tray to take food from, as well as speaking to the customer or communication via lights when its ears are rubbed or head is patted.

An ever expanding robot is KettyBot, a Delivery & Greeting Robot. KettyBot also has multiple operational modes as well as key features like automatic charging, front-facing advertising screen, and bot-to-bot connections. The newest feature to be added to Ketty is the ability to place an order, customers can be escorted to their table, scroll through the menu and place an order on Ketty's screen, then pay via a SPARK Pay handheld device. If you want to find out more about this feature then read our blog about Ketty Self Ordering

A robot with slightly different functions is the Heavy Duty Delivery Robot HolaBot. With four trays capable of carrying 15kg, HolaBot completes the exhausting task of carrying plates across a venue, providing staff with more time to focus on other duties. HolaBot also has the ability to be summoned to staff via a pagering function so staff can fill Hola with dirty plates and send it to the kitchen to be unloaded.

Cosmo 3 Bots


Future of Robotics

In a research study, it was found that a quarter of UK consumers would be happy for a robot to be in charge of preparing their meal in a restaurant, whilst 30% admit they are happy for a robot to serve them food & drinks in a hospitality venue.

Whilst some may look at this research as less than positive, it's key to note that in comparison to previous years the numbers have in fact risen. With ever-advancing technology the public are becoming more open to robotics. In areas like Asia, where technology is far more advanced, robotics can be seen as a staple in a businesses daily runnings. Whereas in areas like the UK where technology is years behind, robotics are less common but with that they also become more of a fascination and a novelty.


Novelty of Robots

Introducing robotic waiters into a venue is a great way to attract customers. As robotics aren't a usual product we see daily, the opportunity to be waited on by a robot can be very enticing.

COSMO Week Two TikTok StatCOSMO Month One TikTok Stat-1













In venues like COSMO, a social media presence has been created on TikTok with Cosmo never actually posting anything. After the grand opening of Cosmo's St Enoch in Glasgow on February 21st, customers began posting videos on TikTok of their experience at the buffet venue and their interactions with the robots. Within two weeks Cosmo had generated 970k views and within a month 1.6m views. The scenario of being waited on by a robot in Glasgow was a strong attraction point and had people excited to try out the newly opened buffet. Whilst Robotics can attract the customers it's the food and environment that they go back for. You can read more about the partnership between SPARK EPOS and COSMO in a blog detailing the collaboration here


In a post-covid world there has been a huge change in the way hospitality venues operate, self-service has become an enticing reason to go to a restaurant with more people wanting a no-contact experience. Following this development, robotic service is on the rise with the convenience and novelty of the robotics being a major benefit to hospitality. Whilst there are both advantages and disadvantages to introducing robotics into hospitality, it will not be long before they are fully accepted as part of the restaurant experience which will be an exciting development to watch.