Sep 1, 2022 - Business

Hey Tampa Bay, your next waiter might be a robot

Servi the robot
Servi the robot. Photo: Courtesy of Bear Robotics

Israeli tech startups want to carry Tampa Bay restaurants into the future.

Driving the news: Two businesses pitched server-assisting robots to restaurateurs and business influencers at a Florida-Israel Business Accelerator dinner Tuesday night.

The star of the show: Bear Robotics' Servi, a sleek bot on wheels that served appetizers off its carrying trays. Servi is supposed to literally take the weight off of servers' shoulders, allowing them to serve tables faster and get more facetime with customers.

  • Locally, you can get waited on by a Servi at Gecko's Grill in Hillview. The chain is getting a Servi bot at its biggest location in Sarasota later this month.

Another company, Xtend, also pitched its services. Along with a restaurant bot to carry food and take orders, Xtend is also beta testing robots for hospitals and telemedicine, warehouses and security patrol.

Two more big ideas: Caller Intercept offered a solution to help both restaurant workers and customers who find themselves stuck on the phone by directing callers to text message options for reservations, online ordering, directions and conversations with the manager.

  • CEO Andrew Koumi tested the system on his own restaurant chain, Green Market Cafe, last year. He found that when his system texted a link to missed callers, he recovered $500 a month in revenue he would have normally lost from missed calls.

Hospitality tech platform Tabit Technologies pitched its software ecosystem to synchronize point of sale services, reservations, waitlists, online and self-service ordering, kitchen systems, analytics, and more.

  • That system is being used at several places in Miami including the Versace Mansion and Serafina.
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