Florida restaurant employs robots to counter staff shortage
‘Let’s experiment, but get people back to work,’ Sergio’s Restaurants CEO says
A Florida restaurant owner is bringing the future of food right to your table.
After struggling with staffing issues due to the coronavirus pandemic, Sergio’s Restaurants CEO Carlos Gazitua is investing in robots to help take customers’ orders and even deliver food to tables.
"If people aren't applying, we're just having burnouts with our employees," Gazitua told "Cavuto: Coast to Coast." "We're seeing a lot of restaurants closed a couple of days a week, but we don't want to close, we’re a community restaurant."
THESE 25 STATES ARE ENDING $300 UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS THIS SUMMER
The restauranteur explained he took a more modern approach to dining to make "life easier" for his employees and used robots to take on the more difficult functions, like carrying food trays back and forth.
"…we were able to save 25 miles of walking, carrying 15 to 20-pound weights over your shoulders for our wait staff," he told FOX Business host Neil Cavuto. "We were able to increase their wages by 25 to 30 percent just because they were able to take some tables."
Gazitua added he believes he found a "sweet" balance between robots and humans coming together, as his staff members are able to interact more with the customers.
"We coordinate with walkie-talkies and radios as the servers are still on the floor taking care of the tables," the restaurateur mentioned. "We're not taking away that workforce, what we're trying to do is make it easier to work for us."
On June 26, Florida is expected to stop supplying unemployed citizens with the supplemental $300 a week unemployment benefit, the state's Department of Economic Opportunity announced.
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The Florida restaurant owner continued to express his belief that customers have been "empathetic" towards servers, as they work 6-7 days a week. Gazitua said robots will not take away jobs from workers.
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"We have states opening, people are vaccinated, economies opening up. We have to incentivize work," he told Cavuto. "Let’s experiment, but let’s get people back to work."