Chili's to Use Servi Robots at an Additional 51 Locations
Company says 82 percent of guests felt their experience was better because of the bot.
More server robots will be running around Chili’s restaurants. The restaurant chain announced last week that it’s expanding the use of Bear Robotics’ Servi robot to 51 more restaurants, up from ten stores as of October 2021.
Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN) was first to report the story last Friday, said that Servis have been used for a number of different tasks at Chili’s including hosting, expediting food and carting off dirty dishes, and perhaps most important for any restaurant floor staff — Servi will sing happy birthday (so servers don’t have to).
NRN also got this nugget of information in a statement from Wade Allen, Brinker International Vice President of Innovation:
In recent polling in some of our 'Rita-fied' restaurants, 82% of guests felt their experience was better overall because of Rita, and 77% said their server spent more time with them due to Rita.
If these numbers are true, then it helps validate the theory that adding robots to a restaurant can actually improve the experience for just about everyone involved. Human staff don’t have to carry heavy trays around and can focus more on customer service (which should ideally boost sales).
I’ve written a lot lately about how server robots will be the tip of the spear when it comes to restaurant’s adopting automation. Server robots don’t require heavy installation and perform a truly helpful task in lugging trays of food and empty dishes around. And while I’ve previously honed in on how demand for these robots has been driven by smaller, more regional restaurants, Chili’s is showing that there will also be plenty of demand from larger, national chains as well. (Denny’s is also trialing Servi robots as well.)
Chili’s is certainly not afraid of robots. In addition to doubling down on server bots, Chili’s is also testing out the use of drones for food delivery and is piloting a program with Serve Robotics. Serve makes an autonomous sidewalk delivery robot, though we don’t know exactly how or where Chili’s will use Serve’s robots yet.