An Italian restaurant owner has told how he is turning to robot waiters because he cannot find enough humans willing to do the job.
Luca Marton – who owns an eatery in the north-eastern Italian city of Treviso, in the Veneto region – said that he made the decision after being repeatedly let down by people.
Luca – from the Signore e Signori, or Ladies and Gentlemen restaurant – explained: “We’d need four more people. The last two hires? After two days they disappeared.”
He added: “In about 10 days, the first robot will arrive in our establishment to help us with table service.”
The bot – reportedly worth up to EUR 50,000 (GBP 44,000) – will set and clear tables, leaving Luca’s remaining human staff to take orders and focus on customers.
Luca – who still has 10 human workers – said: “Specifically, the machine will take care of setting the table and clearing away the tables.
“In this way, it will alleviate the manual labour of the waiters who will be able to take better care of the orders and above all the relationships with the customers.”
The restaurant owner has said that his problems with finding staff date back to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.
He explained: “Before COVID-19, for 20 years I worked with school kids.
“Now, however, the situation is dramatic.
“In seven months, I’ve only received three CVs. Two guys didn’t show up for work after two days. They didn’t even warn me.”
Luca added: “I found this out when I called them to remind them of the day’s work shift. Another one is working now in my restaurant and let’s see how it goes.
“If I can’t hire more people, I’ll have to reduce the number of tables.
“Perhaps I will be able to guarantee the service only thanks to the robots if the experiment works, but in any case the problem will not be completely solved.”
He stressed he is a good boss who pays his staff fair wages.
Luca said: “I offer my employees a 40-hour weekly contract at EUR 1,400 [GBP 1,230] net per month with the possibility of reaching up to EUR 1,800 [GBP 1,580] with overtime.
“I tried to recruit staff through social networks, hotel schools, the labour superintendency and the Treviso provincial employment centre.
“The few people I have found have given me the availability of two or three days a week and taking turns trying to please everyone is increasingly complicated.”
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