Robots in the Hospitality industry are changing how the hospitality industry perceived service.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is leading to innovation and automation across industries.
Science fiction has come alive, thanks to AI and the rise of technology. Robotics in the hospitality industry is creating a buzz as well as anxiety.
This is due to the unknown impact on consumer behaviour and perceptions in an industry which has relied on human interaction.
In this post, we have discussed how Robots are making inroads within the hospitality industry. We have also discussed examples, benefits and drawbacks. Let’s begin.
Robotics in the Hospitality Industry- Preface
Robots – they are everywhere nowadays.
From manufacturing to medicine and more industries in-between, robots are making huge headlines across the board.
And robots in the hospitality industry are now a reality.
Which begs the question: are robots the future of hospitality?
We made an image search on Google to check about Robotics in hospitality.
The result flooded us with images of robots either in the experimentation stage or already operational.
We have reproduced the screenshot of the image search. Things certainly look exciting for the hospitality industry.
So, is robotics an integral part of the future of hospitality?
Most hoteliers and hospitality pundits seem to think so.
But, can Robots mimic the personalised services that the hospitality industry has on offer?
There are numerous such questions that might make us all sceptical about these machines driven by artificial intelligence.
There are fascinating ways robots and artificial intelligence in the hospitality industry will rock in the next decade or so.
We have covered a lot of these details about robotics in tourism and hospitality in this article.
How Robotics is Going to Impact Guest Experience?
Introducing Robots in the hotel industry has to be a major change.
A lot of hotels and hospitality companies have already introduced robots.
While there are various top hotels that only use robots for add on services or as an exciting addition to their team.
Given below are some of the key ways through which these robots are certain to change guest experience.
Have a look!
“Robots” helping in smoother Check-Ins
Imagine entering a hotel or cruise line to find a chatty robot waiting to help you check-in.
That is not a scene from a sci-fi film; it’s what hospitality companies are venturing into.
Take Aloft Hotels by Starwood, for example; they just introduced Boltr, robots that help out at the check-in desk in delivering things.
Henn-na Hotels in Japan is one of the few hotels that are already primarily staffed by robots which include bellhop dinosaurs that assist guest in getting a room.
Robots serve as receptionists at this automated hotel.
When it comes to robots in hotels, Residence Inn Los Angeles LAX is also kicking it up a notch with a series of bellhop robots.
Room Service – the Robot way
Forget about the lady with a mellow voice calling out “room service!” – Robots are bound to take over room service in a big way.
The good thing is that these robots will offer absolute privacy that the usual staff wouldn’t.
They will be able to serve you the hot meals, mix your drinks, press your laundry, and tidy up the room while you’re right there.
And, you would not need to worry about tips.
Robots in the hospitality industry might be one of the key success factors for the industry in future.
Personalised Services through AI
With robots and artificial intelligence in the hospitality industry, guests will be able to get exceptionally personalised service.
Unlike the system in place at the moments, AI and robots will be able to learn your habits, likes, dislikes, and other personal attributes.
This way, they can provide you with highly tailored services and make your stay unforgettable.
This topic demands a whole post on its own and is one of the most important topics as far as innovation in the hospitality industry is concerned.
But, we will leave that for a later post.
Enhanced Storage through Robots in the Hotel Industry
With robots in the hotels, guests are bound to store their luggage without the fear of them being misplaced.
Robots don’t get exhausted.
Yotel in New York already has an industrial-size robot that helps guests store their bags when they check out but still need a place to keep their stuff.
It’s an excellent tool for enhancing customer experience.
YOBOT in YOTEL New York is one such example.
Examples of Robots in the Hospitality Industry
Let’s now take a few live examples of robots being used in the hospitality industry already.
But, before we do that, here’s a video for the future of travel with examples of hospitality robots.
In the post-COVID pandemic world, robots are going to become more popular. That’s for the taking.
Presenting below the video from Mojo travel which explains about robotics in the hotel industry with a few current examples. Also discussed are the robots of the future for the hotel industry.
Have a look!
Now some examples of robots which are receiving thumbs up from the hospitality fraternity.
- ‘Boltr by Starwood’ was introduced a few years ago. The Robot Butler has heaps of praise to its credit in the past years.
- Robot receptionists in Hen na Hotels, Japan. The automated hotel chain has made the concept of robot receptionists popular.
- Connie, The Robot Concierge from Hilton Worldwide- This Robot is developed by IBM and uses AI.
- The smart kiosk robot at the Geneva Airport- Helps travellers in boarding and can move within the airport premises to busy areas.
- The Robot from Amadeus which uses Artificial Intelligence extensively to help travellers plan and book their travel.
- Dash Bot from Crowne Plaza Hotels in Silicon Valley Area, USA
- Yobot from Yotel- Can deliver orders, answer basic queries, take room service orders and more.
- Cleo Chatbot and Leo from EMC2 Chicago can not only serve you but also bring smiles to your face. they are smart.
There are many such examples of robots in the hotels, at the airports, in restaurants and so on.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Robots in the Hospitality Industry
Robotics is fast gaining importance in the hospitality industry.
Hospitality robots are expected to grow in number faster than ever in 2021 and beyond.
COVID pandemic has put the hospitality and travel industry to a standstill.
While the tourism industry is set to bounce back but it’s certain that automation will be used more than ever in the coming decade.
Robots would lead the race towards automation in the hospitality industry.
However, there are certain advantages and disadvantages of robots taking over key customer-facing functions in hospitality.
Let’s check the advantages of robots in hospitality first.
- Robots drive down variable costs
- Decreases dependence of staff.
- Cuts down on human resource expenses.
- Helps in combating seasonality (cost can be saved during off-season).
- Robots help in providing uniform service. They don’t get angry and have no mood swings.
- Chatbots don’t get offended and can be fun.
- Enhances guest experience for tech-savvy customers and millennials.
- Increases privacy of the customers.
- Robots improve security with the hospitality premises.
And there are numerous other advantages of having robots to serve you. They are indeed the future of hospitality.
There are also several disadvantages of having robots in hotels. Let’s point out a few here.
- Robots can get monotonous for customers with time.
- Robots can’t offer personalised services as yet.
- One time setup cost can be too high and not feasible for small hotels and inns.
- Luxury travellers expect on-demand services and a highly personalised experience. Robots are not equipped for the same.
- Technology failure can lead to a poor experience for customers and can ruin the reputation of the company.
- Over-dependence on technology.
The hospitality industry is all about service. People expect to be called out by names.
Scanning faces multiple times, being served by machines might spoil the experience for some.
For a lot of guests and customers, socialising with staff members is a key method to experience the local culture. Robots might not impersonate local people to the expectations of customers.
However, with the ongoing research and innovation, nothing is impossible.
Automation seems to be the need of the hour for the troubled tourism industry post-COVID pandemic.
Robots can be a boon to automate a lot of services without spoiling the experience.
These are just, but a few ways robots and artificial intelligence in the hospitality industry are going to rock.
The entire industry is excited to see what’s in store for them.
Robots in the hospitality industry are sure to be popular in the near future.
However, we are yet to see how far can we go with these machines as far as the customer service is concerned.
We will need to wait and watch.