A viral TikTok video shows how one California Denny’s has “rolled out” a new staff member to help with the labor crisis as the food service industry continues to struggle finding staff willing to do the work.
“JANET” is the new robotic server that gracefully delivered two breakfast plates to the diners’ table in the video that has been viewed nearly half a million times.
“Here comes breakfast,” the diner exclaimed. “We are hungry.”
@miabellaceoEarly morning breakfast at Denny’s I did give the server hot apple pie mini melt sample..♬ original sound – Bob
The technology has been tested for about 60 days but Denny’s is not sure if they will expand the faceless crew.
“We fully support our franchisees’ initiatives and encourage the testing of methods that surprise and delight our guests,” the company told FOX Business. “As the testing continues, we will listen to our guest and employee feedback for future deployment consideration, but at this time there are no immediate plans for test expansion.”
The video received a thumbs up from many, and snarky responses from many others who poked fun at the fact that demands for higher wages seem to be driving people out of a job entirely.
“Cool, I just saved $12 not giving a tip,” responded one person.
“Never calls out, doesn’t talk back, always on time, no inter personal relationship drama, never complains… I’m sold,” wrote another.
“McDonald’s is starting to implement self-serve kiosks, Taco Bell is starting to do it too, and now this. how is demanding a $15/hr wage working out?” another commented.
“Want paid more huh? Goodbye job. Certain jobs can only pay so much til the company has to get rid of the expense. Self checkouts, robotic cleaners…” said another TikToker.
The robot server is manufactured by Bear Robotics, a company founded in May 2017 with a $750,000 angel investment that produced their first product, “Penny.”
“Whether you’re running a diner or curating elite culinary experiences, there’s so much hustle behind the scenes. This is not only costly but also puts barriers between your guests, servers and the moments that matter,” Bear Robotics’ website promises. “By automating the extra work, it’s our promise that you’ll see lower turnover, less errors, better reviews and return customers.”
Earlier this month, the company announced on Instagram that they were joining Denny’s across the country.
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The 29-year veteran server in the video called the robot “one of the coolest” and said it was very “handy” and “helpful.”
“It’s helping with big parties, helping getting the food out nice and hot and fast,” she said. “Thank you for introducing us to it. Appreciate it, good work.”
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released from a survey earlier this month that indicated a record 4.4 million separated from their job by quitting, a phenomenon many have dubbed “The Great Resignation.”
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