How Automation Is Taking Over The Foodservice Industry


Science fiction movies and television shows in the past often included a robot that worked side-by-side with humans. While Rosey from The Jetsons still hasn’t been fully realized, robots and automation in the foodservice industry are a reality.

Robots, Automation, and the Future of the Food Service Industry

A recent article in Communications of the ACM suggests that the “great resignation” is causing a labor shortage in many industries. Automation is helping to address that shortage. In addition, automation not only helps capture useful data but also reduces workplace accidents and the resulting downtime and costs associated with accidents.

One example of how automation is changing the food service industry is the use of delivery robots on certain college campuses, such as George Mason University. Humans are still needed to load the robots with the items ordered and monitor situations. But the use of robots lets staff stay on site to help increase profits.

So, what are some of the products that will help your food service business run more efficiently in an era of labor shortages?

The Frybot

The main innovation of the L2F Frybot is the addition of a robot arm to the deep fryer. Instead of a human loading a basket with French fries, a robot dispenses the exact number of fries per portion into a basket. Then the robot arm lowers the basket into the hot oil, cooks it for a predetermined amount of time, and then lifts the basket and fills the paper container for the customer.

The company suggests that the Frybot reduces accidental burns, saves roughly $70,000 in employee costs, and exerts greater control for portions and doneness. The elimination of waste, employee costs, and the enhancement of safety are the main selling points of this robotic fry cook.

The Pizzabot

Making a pizza is one of the most labor-intensive tasks performed in a restaurant. The pizza chef has to do everything from hand-tossing dough to removing the pizza once it’s done.

The Pizzabot, also built by L2F, helps with some of this process because it’s a pizza vending machine. The device contains several premade, partially cooked pizzas. The customer selects the desired pizza and pays for it through a touch screen. Two minutes later, a pipping hot, personal pizza is dispensed through a slot, ready to be eaten.

The main advantage of a Pizzabot is that it can be located anywhere, including convenience stores and supermarkets. Any heavily trafficked space will do.

The Orionstar Serving Robot

Orionstar offers several food service robots. The Greeting Robot could replace the human who works the front of the business, interacting with customers, and guiding them to their seats. It’s useful in other settings to give information and direction. It also has a teleconferencing feature in which it can be a conduit for a human being at another location.

Having the LukiBot on hand helps delivers food to a customer’s table. And with the Coffee Master, pouring a cup of coffee and grinding beans to brew makes serving a favorite beverage easier. The robot barista is a good addition to not only restaurants but business meetings and exhibitions.

The Carter-Hoffmann Pickup Cabinet

The Carter-Hoffmann Pickup Cabinet offers pickup of food with no human contact. The customer orders food through a smartphone app. The food service worker prepares the meal and places it in a compartment. The customer arrives at the pickup cabinet, scans a code on a smartphone, and then selects the desired food. The cabinet could be used in a variety of venues, including restaurants, universities, and sports stadiums.


Want 10% off your purchase? Sign up for our newsletter! It’s that easy.