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Can Robots Save the Day?

Written by Monica Savaglia
Posted April 26, 2022

The idea of robots intermingling with our everyday lives even today can seem a little far-fetched. I don’t know if you’re like me, but when I think about robots I always think about those iconic sci-fi films that I grew up with. You know, the ones where robots are interacting with humans on the daily basis or even becoming friends with their owner or, worse, becoming killer robots — a bizarre image, to say the least.

I don’t think we’re quite there when it comes to robots — I know I won’t be becoming best friends with a robot anytime soon. With that being said, I do believe robots are playing important and even crucial roles when it comes to benefiting certain industries and even the workforce. Especially for workers who already have such a heavy manual workload like healthcare workers and food service workers.

First, let’s take a look at the food service and restaurant industry. Bruce Grindy, chief economist for the National Restaurant Association, had this to say in his April update of employment numbers:

Although March represented the 15th consecutive month of restaurant job growth, it was also the smallest gain during that period.

As a result, the 252,000 restaurant jobs added during the January–March period represented the smallest quarterly increase since the fourth quarter of 2020.

The Workforce Is Exhausted

Something is going on here. There are jobs, but these jobs aren’t being filled. You can also see this with fast-food chain restaurants. I can’t tell you how many times I've been walking in or driving up to get a quick bite to eat and seen a “We’re Hiring” sign. I’ve even seen signs saying that the business hires on the spot — clearly those businesses aren't hiding their desperation when it comes to finding workers. 

It’s been difficult for businesses in the food service industry to hire individuals even if they are offering to pay above minimum wage. Working in an industry like food service requires a lot of a person. You’re often doing a variety of tasks and are expected to be quick and accurate. It can be a lot of pressure. And oftentimes these types of positions don’t offer the best benefits. I admire the people who can work these labor-intensive jobs. 

When I was growing up, I really wanted to earn my own money so I could save. The only place that would hire a 14-year-old was McDonald’s. My first few days were spent training on a computer, and then I was released into the wild. I had been excited, but that quickly diminished. I was trying to keep my balance while walking on greasy, slippery tiles, while at the same time handing out customers’ orders and working the register. 

And if I was unlucky, someone would order an ice cream cone. Let me tell you, trying to perfectly swirl ice cream into the cone is a lot harder than it looks. It wasn't long until I reached my breaking point. I worked only a few shifts before I realized this type of work wasn’t for me. I had the privilege of not needing to work but wanting to — so I quit my first job.

These jobs are hard, but incorporating new technologies to lessen the workload or reduce the risk of injury is starting to become appealing to food service and restaurant owners. Not to mention, it’s a way for businesses to fill the need for workers while also cutting some costs.

Can Robots Save the Day?

One example of this is a robot from Miso Robotics called “Flippy,” which has been helping out at White Castle. Flippy can be in charge of some of the most dangerous kitchen tasks, like deep-frying. The original Flippy model can place baskets in the fryer, shake the baskets around in the oil, and monitor the cooking time of the food. Flippy moves back and forth with an attached safety shield to protect other workers from the hot oil. Having Flippy on staff means that other staff members can focus on other tasks.

Buffalo Wild Wings has tested out Miso Robotics’ Flippy Wings, which makes chicken wings using a similar process to the original Flippy. Then there’s Miso Robotics' most recent robot, CookRight Coffee, which is currently being tested at Panera. This robot uses artificial intelligence to scan coffee volume and temperatures, and can also brew a new pot of coffee at the right time so employees can focus on other tasks like helping customers. You can check out Miso Robotics robots here.

These robots are being tested in the workforce or have already been tested. Once businesses begin to realize the benefits of having robots lessen the workload for their employees, it will be easier to hire employees for positions. Right now the robots industry is valued at about $38 billion and is expected to be worth $500 billion by 2030 — a 1,215% increase in less than a decade. There is a lot of wealth to be gained from this industry — not just for businesses, but for you too.

Now that we’ve determined robots will be sticking around for the foreseeable future and the market is anticipated to surge in the next decade and beyond, there has to be some type of investing angle that involves this technology, right? Well, you’d be right to think that. I was thinking the same thing when I was discovering more about the impact robots will have on our society and industries. So I started talking to my friend and colleague Jason Williams, who ended up sharing with me an investing opportunity involving robots.

That’s the best part about working with forward-thinking people! They’re always one step ahead of the news cycle and trends. Jason was working on his report about robots way before I noticed all these articles. Inside the report, he goes into more detail about the robot industry and reveals a way that investors like you and me can reap the rewards from every robot that rolls off the assembly line.

Here’s your full access to Jason’s report.

Until next time,

Monica Savaglia Signature Park Avenue Digest

Monica Savaglia

Monica Savaglia is Wealth Daily’s IPO specialist. With passion and knowledge, she wants to open up the world of IPOs and their long-term potential to everyday investors. She does this through her newsletter IPO Authority, a one-stop resource for everything IPO. She also contributes regularly to the Wealth Daily e-letter. To learn more about Monica, click here.

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