SSP trials robotic technology

SSP Group is trialling a new robot service technology to enhance colleague and customer experience at Belfast International Airport. The trial – the first of its kind in SSP UK – sees six service robots being deployed at its Sip and Stone Restaurant and Bar.

Working with GW Robotics and Stephens Catering, SSP will test the effectiveness of using the service robots to help servers with their day-to-day tasks. The aim is to allow staff more time to focus on deliver customer service.

A service robot called ‘BellaBot’ will bring food and drinks from the kitchen, while ‘HolaBot’ will collect plates and cutlery once customers have left their tables. HolaBot can be called remotely by colleagues to clear any section of the restaurant as necessary. Bella Bot is also equipped with a voice and screen system and can greet customers for a human-robot interaction.

Richard Lewis, chief executive officer of SSP UK and Ireland, said: “Investing in new technology with a view to improving the customer experience is one of the core tenets of our business at SSP. The nature of our business means we serve a lot of customers and we need to serve them quickly. These robots will enable our colleagues to spend more time front of house with our customers, ultimately improving their experience at our restaurants.

“We also want our customers to enjoy a unique, original experience. As always, we will be looking forward to receiving their feedback.

A similar trial is ongoing in Germany, while an additional one is scheduled in the UK for later this year.

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