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Could robots be the answer to the labour shortage?

The hospitality industry has always relied heavily on personal interaction. Whether it's the front desk clerk who checks you in or the concierge who helps you find your way around town, good customer service is essential to the success of any hotel or restaurant. However, as more and more businesses look for ways to combat labour shortages and drive efficiences, the use of robots within the hospitality industry is becoming more commonplace.

A big part of why robots have become a popular technology trend in the hospitality industry is because more and more customers are expecting a self-service experience. Automation is increasingly vital in the customer experience, and ideas like self-service check-ins and 24/7 support are becoming increasingly important.

Robots can be a big help in providing these kinds of experiences. For example, chatbots can provide 24/7 support through online chat or instant messaging services. This can be a big help for hotel or travel companies, who might otherwise miss out on customer enquiries outside regular business hours. Meanwhile, using a robot to handle the check-in process can speed up the entire process and help to reduce congestion.

Overall, robots offer many potential benefits for the hospitality industry, particularly in terms of the customer experience. And as customer expectations continue to evolve, we'll likely see even more hotels and businesses turning to robots to help meet those needs. However, although there is definitely a novelty factor with robots which can initially be quite appealing, most people would still agree that the true spirit of hospitality remains human interaction. In this article, we'll look at eight different ways companies use robots within the hospitality sector - take a look at the accompanying videos to see the technology in action.

Henn-na Hotel in Nagasaki, Japan, is the world's first hotel to be almost entirely staffed by robots. That's right - during your stay, you encounter no human employees at all! Instead, the hotel has robots deployed throughout its business to provide information, front desk services, storage services, and check-in and check-out solutions. The technology used includes voice and facial recognition. So far, the reviews have been mixed, with some guests reporting that the experience was efficient and seamless.In contrast, others found the lack of human interaction to be off-putting. Regardless of your opinion on robot hotels, it's undoubtedly an exciting development in the hospitality industry! It will be interesting to see how this concept evolves over time.

Connie, the robot concierge, is one of the newest members of the Hilton team. Standing just over three feet tall, Connie is hard to miss as she roams the lobby, greeting guests and answering their questions. The robot uses IBM's artificial intelligence platform, which gives her the ability to understand speech and provide helpful answers. Additionally, the system is constantly learning and improving with each interaction, meaning that Connie becomes more valuable as time goes on. So far, she's been a big hit with guests, providing a friendly face and helpful information at all hours of the day. Hilton is planning to roll out more robots like Connie soon, so keep an eye out for more of these helpful little machines.

Imagine never having to worry about your luggage again - that's the promise of the Travelmate suitcase. This self-driving suitcase uses advanced robotics to follow you around, avoiding obstacles and eliminating the need for you to carry or push it. The suitcase is also equipped with several features to make your journey more comfortable, including 360-degree turning, anti-collision technology, and an auto-locking system that keeps your belongings safe and secure. Whether travelling for business or pleasure, the Travelmate suitcase will make your journey a breeze.

From the moment you set foot in the airport, you may be interacting with robots. They are increasingly used to check baggage and direct passengers to their gates. And once you arrive at your hotel, you may be greeted by a robotic concierge. These assistants can carry out various tasks, including room service and providing information about local attractions. One key advantage is their ability to offer support for multiple languages. This functionality means that they can provide a personalised service to guests from all over the world. As the hospitality industry increasingly embraces robotics, there's no doubt that these technologies are set to revolutionise how we travel across all touchpoints of our journeys.

One company that's experimenting with the use of robots in customer service is Travel Agent Amadeus. They've developed a robot called 1A-TA, powered by artificial intelligence. The aim is to cut down on wait times for customers during busy periods by pre-qualifying their enquiries. 1A-TA can immediately get to work, finding out about customers' needs and preferences and passing the information on when they speak to a human travel agent. So far, the results have been promising, and we'll likely see more and more companies adopting similar systems in the future.

Knightscope robots are becoming increasingly common at airports around the world. These robots are designed to autonomously detect concealed weapons, using a variety of sensors to scan for potential threats. The robots are particularly effective in large crowds, such as airport terminals. In addition to detecting weapons, the robots can also monitor crowd size and movement, helping to prevent stampedes and other dangerous situations. The use of robots in airport security is just one example of how new technology can keep passengers safe. With the help of these robotic helpers, airports are becoming more secure and efficient, making travel safer and more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Chatbots are one of the most common types of robots in the hospitality industry. Businesses can use them to provide basic customer service or for more complex tasks like hotel or flight bookings. A great example is the SnatchBot Booking Travel Template, which intelligently guides customers through the booking process. Chatbots are becoming increasingly popular as they provide a high level of customer service while freeing employees to focus on other tasks. We will likely see chatbots used for even more intricate tasks, such as concierge and room service.

As the following video shows, hotel robot butlers and robot luggage porters use collision detection, Wi-Fi and AI technologies to navigate hotels and provide services. These robots can autonomously navigate their way around buildings, delivering luggage and other items to guests' rooms.

These examples demonstrate that robots and artificial intelligence are emerging as valuable solutions for the hospitality sector. As technology develops, we'll probably see more and more automation across the industry to free up workers to do other tasks. However, it is essential to acknowledge the limitations of these tech solutions too.

One of the biggest potential problems is that increased automation could lead to an employment crisis due to fewer jobs. For example, the initial investment and maintenance costs associated with robots can be high. Another downside is that they cannot act outside their programmed parameters, meaning they cannot adapt to unanticipated situations. This attribute is often vital in the service sector.


At Beacon, we work with several suppliers that can provide technological solutions to some of the hospitality sector's daily issues. From automated check-out providers to robot hoover manufacturers, we can help you find a bespoke solution right for you and your customers. So get in touch with us today - we're always happy to chat! Apart from our website chatbot, you'll always speak to a real person here, and we'll do our best to find a solution that meets your needs.

#hospitality #hospitalityindustry #hotels

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