Pretty big deal across the internet and widely reported. The best writeup we saw from the Spoon
- Media coverage of robotics in food service has been evolving over the past year, with news organizations going from gee-whiz articles about a cool new novelty to increasingly viewing the use of robotics as a direct result of hiring difficulties due to the pandemic.
- Dennys is moving quickly despite the static
- According to provider, it’s the operators on the front lines who are looking for answers. “What’s interesting is that this is a bottom-up movement by franchise owners that are really pulling for our solution.”
No matter the reason, the wider arrival of robotics at Denny’s and restaurant chains is raising the profile of these solutions and looks to be sparking a broader conversation about the impact of automation on the experience and the livelihoods of those in the service industry. This increased spotlight will also likely mean a more jaded framing of food robotics by the media, much like we’ve seen when it comes to their coverage of social media and privacy. While this isn’t necessarily a wrong reaction – it’s the media’s job to be skeptical – a pendulum swing is something the industry should be prepared for.
For the average consumer, the use of robots remains a curiosity. There hasn’t been – at least not yet – a rise of an organized Luddite anti-automation reaction to food robotics. However, the passion in some of the comments on TikTok could be the canary in the coalmine signaling one may be on the way.
As for companies like Bear Robotics – the provider of Denny’s server robot – business just continues to grow. I checked in with Bear Robotics COO Juan Higueros on how the Denny’s rollout is going.
“They have moved fairly quickly,” he said.
You can watch the TikTok video that sparked the conversation last week below.