PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — "At about the beginning of the year, we got into a staffing shortage, and then we need to be creative about it. I looked for stuff that can help my staff work and be more productive. So I found a robot. So I brought him in," said Art Piyavichaya who is the owner of Ganzo Sushi.
But perhaps people shouldn't worry about robots taking jobs.
"Servers at the beginning [were] skeptical about it, like 'Those robots will replace me or something', but now they become buddies," said Piyavichaya.
In July, Career Source Palm Beach County reported there are still over 10,000 open restaurant and leisure jobs in the Palm Beaches. And that the unemployment rate for the county is at 3% (the national average is 3.8%). Career Source said that means for every job opening there are two people available to fill the post.
However, restaurants are still finding it difficult to fill all their openings so a few restaurants have started hiring robot employees.
Ganzo Sushi located in Delray Beach Market place has purchased three robots. One robot helps servers bring drinks and food to the table, one takes dirty dishes to the dishwasher, and one works out on the patio.
Bella the Robot can Sing Happy Birthday
Piyavichaya said the robots help his team carry out plates, and ingredients and the servers enjoy using the robot instead of a bus pan.
"The robot comes in and they can carry on and do the heavy work," said Piyavichaya.
Lemongrass Hospitality Group, which operates Ganzo, also has robots at The Sea Asian Kitchen in Delray Beach and Eat District in Boca Raton.
The robots can stop if people walk in their path, and change directions.
Robots are just one way the restaurant group is innovating. It's also hosting sushi-making classes and has DIY Sushi Kits.
The DIY Sushi Kits will feed up to eight people and come with everything you need to handcraft sushi rolls with your friends and/or family at home. The kits cost $85 and need to be ordered 24 hours in advance.
Ganzo Sushi inside Delray Marketplace
14811 Lyons Rd #106, Delray Beach, FL 33446