‘ServeBots’ bring futuristic dining experience to diners, while supporting busy wait staff, representing the ‘future of food service.’
(RestaurantNews.com) At Arirang K, a beloved Korean barbeque hotspot in Johns Creek, Georgia, robots offer diners a uniquely futuristic experience and lighten the load on servers during peak business hours. Since June 2022, four “LG CLOi ServeBot” robotic assistants from LG Business Solutions USA have been assisting wait staff by accompanying them to guests’ tables while carrying multiple dishes at once.
“We’ve been serving gourmet Korean barbecue and sushi for just over three years now, and we are always looking for ways to improve the guest experience and provide better service without increasing costs,” said Miok Kim, general manager of Arirang K. “LG is one of South Korea’s most respected technology companies, so we were excited about the chance to try out their brand-new robot. Its cutting-edge sensors and programming accurately deliver food to customers and assist wait staff by reducing kitchen runs. Everybody liked the first two so much that we upgraded to four LG ServeBots to maximize service levels and guarantee that every customer gets to see the robots in action. The customer experience is also very important to us, and having the ServeBots move around the restaurant is a new and exciting experience for virtually all our customers.”
As expected, guests quickly fell in love with the friendly-looking LG ServeBots that help deliver their delicious food. Social media mentions quickly grew as patrons posted photos and videos, and staff were constantly greeted by wide-eyed guests talking about how cool it was to finally see real functional robots in their daily life.
The LG CLOi ServeBot used at Arirang K (Model LDLIM21) includes three shelves that can each hold up to 22 pounds, and they automatically follow commands to travel to specific tables or back to the kitchen, so kitchen and wait staff can load and unload food from its shelves. This cuts down on the number of times servers have to go into the kitchen, allowing them more time for attending to customers.
According to server Taylor Robinson, the ServeBots at Arirang K boost server efficiency and customer relations, in addition to generating excitement for patrons young and old alike.
“If you’ve ever been in a restaurant with Korean dishes, you know there’s often a lot of plates on the table, so I was definitely excited about using the LG ServeBots just because there’s so many things to carry,” Robinson explained. “The main dishes that come out are mostly hot and can be dangerous, so the LG ServeBots are able to help us by bringing those dishes out, and all we have to do is hand it off at the table. They take a lot off my shoulders, literally off my hands. I’m able to meet the customer at the table and hand the food off without any problems. Not to mention that customers just like seeing the robots in general, especially kids, who get really excited about them.”
Offering up to 11 hours of operation on a single charge, the LG CLOi ServeBot can be programmed for a variety of floor plans, enabling multi-point deliveries ranging from restaurants to office complexes.
“The LG CLOi ServeBot is already delivering major benefits for customers and workers at Arirang K, and it’s perfectly positioned to elevate experiences and efficiency in retail stores and hotels as well,” said Jeffrey Weiland, B2B robotics team leader at LG Business Solutions USA.
As the first commercial service robot to receive UL certification for safe operation in consumer environments, the CLOi ServeBot’s semi-autonomous operation offers businesses a plethora of immediate benefits, including the added attention and grassroots promotional value gained through customers’ social media sharing, Weiland explained.
According to Aaron Kim of Bravo E Tech, who introduced Arirang K to LG CLOi ServeBots, this successful implementation may well represent the future of food service.
“As a company that promotes new technologies to benefit the hospitality industry and its customers, we are always excited when we can show business owners how a new tool or product can captivate guests, encourage multiple visits and result in positive social media mentions,” Kim said. “While the owners of Arirang K weren’t sure how the robots would perform or fit in with their daily operations, they understood the value of being the first place their customers would experience a robotic wait staff assistant. After just two weeks, the first two LG ServeBots had already proved to be a hit among guests and staff, so they ordered two more. I think that speaks for itself.”
Bravo E Tech’s main business is producing and selling commercial-grade golf simulators, and its relationship with LG’s commercial display business led to conversations about how using the new LG CLOi ServeBot would fit perfectly with their business model, add a new revenue stream and help enlarge their industry reputation for injecting novel entertainment and technology experiences into restaurants.
Following the product’s initial success at Arirang K, the owners expressed great interest in using LG CLOi ServeBots in another upcoming restaurant, while Bravo E Tech plans to promote the technology to other partner businesses and may even recommend the robots for its franchisees and corporate Bravo E Tech locations.