Are robots coming to a hotel near you?
— 13 experts shared their view
A recent University of Houston report on robots in hospitality claims that by 2030 over a quarter of hospitality jobs will be replaced by robots. Will robots ever replace all humans in hospitality? Next-gen technology will undoubtedly replace mundane, repetitive, and dangerous jobs in hospitality performed by housekeepers, porters and baggage handlers, concierges, security guards, line cooks, room service, bartenders, waiters, etc. Some hoteliers claim that hospitality is an industry of "people serving people" and robots will be playing only a marginal role. Others, citing the high labor costs which constitute as much as 50%-84% of overall hotel costs in these low travel demand, low occupancies era, predict that robots will replace humans in all dangerous, repetitive and mundane jobs at the property.
The question is, are robots coming to a hotel near you anytime soon?
One of the key take aways of this pandemic is to accept a new way of living, working and vacationing. On line shopping , contactless check in and remote meetings are now the new normal. Guests are not going to be surprised any more seeing robotic baggage handling, housekeeping and room service. Robots bustling around in hotel corridors with housekeeping carts may soon become the new normal!!
It is only a matter of time until robots are used in many guest facing functions in hotels. Robots as waiters in fine dining restaurants and providing aromatic massages in hotel spas may sound far fetched now but could become a reality in future. However, people cannot be replaced and human touch is the hall mark of hospitality. Robots are merely going to help people do their jobs better and thereby spend more time with their guests effectively.