Buckhead restaurant goes hi-tech to help with shortage of workers

ATLANTA — A Buckhead restaurant is using a robot to help meet the needs of its customers.

Employees at the Wing Factory restaurant are adjusting to having a new co-worker in the restaurant.

Servie is the name of the robot the restaurant uses to get orders to customers in the dining room.

“It’s pretty cool — rolls around to the different tables helps us out,” said owner Michael Giovine.

The owner says the restaurant launched this robot on Tuesday and it has already done about 1,000 trips. That’s 30,000 feet, which for a server would be about 12,000 steps.

Super Bowl Sunday is the restaurant’s busiest day of the year. Giovine says the extra help will come in handy.

“We’re hoping tomorrow for Super Bowl it will help take the load off of us being really busy and understaffed,” said Giovine.

Staffing shortages have been an issue for many restaurants trying to navigate the pandemic.

“Where we would have four, five servers on a shift we now have two or three so if we can help them shorten their steps back and forth to the kitchen they can spend more time with the guests,” said Giovine.

Giovine says hiring people to fill open positions has been a huge challenge over the past year. In addition to staffing shortages, there has been a rise in food costs.

“Chicken wings have been at an all-time high for well over a year. Chicken breasts and tenders have just followed,” said Giovine.

Once again, that’s where automation comes in and why restaurants across the country are turning to helpers like Servie.

“If we can save on labor with the robot, we can help absorb those food costs,” said Giovine.

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