Travel has successfully bounced back after years of struggling due to the pandemic. However, this doesn’t mean hospitality staff have returned at the same pace.
At the Garden City Hotel on Long Island, a two-foot robot has offered some solace during the labor shortage.
The Whiz, a robot vacuum, scours the floors of the hotel and works as long as its batteries will allow it. The hotel purchased two of these robots for $30,000 each last year, and they have already proven their worth.
“If we vacuum every floor with a robot, that saves one whole shift,” said Grady Colin, managing director at Garden City Hotel. “That’s one whole person per day that can be redeployed to do something else.”
Like most technological advancements such as the Whiz, there must always be a person there to clean out its vacuum bags and get it on the charger. However, once the vacuums are managed, employees are free to work on other tasks or gain flexibility in their work-life balance.
Because activity across the hospitality industry is expected to spike next year, Colin is seeking other automated tools that can help the hotel run at its highest efficiency.
“I think it’s going to be the necessity to see what other products are out there,” Colin added. “This was a beta test for us that worked out very well.”