Hawaii’s Service Industry Welcomes Robotic Workforce


The Hawaii Hotel and Restaurant Show in Honolulu featured creative concepts for the sector.

With a persistent labor shortage in Hawaii, some eateries are turning to robots to take orders and deliver food.

“Robots eliminate the back and forth that the waiter must do with the kitchen, allowing them to deal with the customer more effectively, thus building that customer-staff interaction.

So This makes it more memorable and increases tips for the staff that is already there because they are focusing more on talking to the customers and getting their refills, drinks, and other items without having to go back and forth to the kitchen over and over again,” said Bryce Greene of ShakaBots Hawaii.

“These robots care for and make things more efficient. They allow one person to handle multiple tables, making things operate much more smoothly. You receive your food quickly. “You get your order taken faster, and everything moves faster,” he continued.

In Hawaii, eight eateries presently use ShakaBots. Each robot costs approximately one dollar per hour to operate and has a six-year lifespan.

“Because of the labor scarcity, we want additional assistance in the kitchens and dining areas. These robots are a valuable resource for restaurant operators. Remember, machines do not call out sick restaurants. When the surf is high, robots do not call out. “They come to work every day,” stated Sheryl Matsuoka, executive director of the Hawaii Restaurant Association.

Some in the visitor sector are concerned about the potential displacement of human workers and the Aloha Spirit found in the islands.

“We do not want individuals to lose their jobs as a result of this. So, if we can improve that person’s work while they keep it, this will be a supplement to it. Make it more efficient, and let business owners know that there may be a middle ground that can be found,” said Mufi Hannemann, board chair of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Robots are reshaping Hawaii’s restaurant and hotel industries, giving a possible solution to the persistent labor deficit.

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