Local restaurant rolls out robot food runner

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – A Nashville restaurant is relying on a robot to lend a helping hand as the service industry continues to see staffing issues.

Party Fowl in Donelson wants to make it clear, they are not replacing human servers with robots, but with restaurants struggling to find help, this is relieving the stress of servers and staff.

A server still sets your meal on the table but getting from the kitchen to your table is all automated.

“Our outside expo who receives the food from the inside of the kitchen will actually type in the table number, place the food on the tray, and the robot “Nash” will actually go right to that table,” explained Austin Smith, owner of Party Fowl.

The robot’s name is “Nash,” and he’s the restaurant’s newest food runner.

“I think with the struggles that restaurants are having keeping fully staffed at this point in time, I think the future is going to look a lot more like Nash,” Smith said.

Smith says PepsiCo and Bear Robotics came to him, saying they had one robot for Nashville. He jumped on the opportunity and wants to make it clear this is not taking away human jobs.

“We can’t find enough people to staff appropriately to give our guests the best experience,” Smith said. “So no, this is not going to be taking jobs, this is actually assisting the people who are showing up to work every day and making their life a little easier and relieving a pressure point.”

In fact, as reliable as Nash is, he says technology can never replace people.

“At the end of the day, I’d rather have feet on the ground, I’d rather have people in this building,” Smith clarified. “Because you can’t recreate the connection that a guest has with a human being.”

Party Fowl is testing Nash, the robot, for 90 days, and said they would probably need to run three robots at a time to actually do a full service.

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