So I woke up this morning to get my usual cup of joe this time without the coffee spill or bent cup. As I approached the coffee shop I pondered what it would be like to have an automated coffee experience.
Robotic coffee has been around for some time. A company called Cafe X had deployed 3 cafes in the San Francisco area with mixed reviews. Customers could order their java via a kiosk. A robotic arm would essentially serve the purpose of a “barista” in making the custom order.
Once completed the customer can get the dispensed order. Coffee ready without human contact or exposure. The kiosk also dispenses pastries, oatmeal, and other snacks directly from the robotic arm.
So I ask myself this question. When does Starbucks or Dunkin decide to automate their cafes? This machine costs $200,000. A drop in the bucket for any of the national coffee chains. Of course many would give the PR answer of how much they love their associates or partners. They would never replace their employees.
However, most in business know the true answer. It is all about the bottom line. If any of the national chains decides to go fully automated there would be huge cost savings. Sick days, salary, employee 401k etc. could all be eliminated. Essentially machines dont’ get sick. Nor do they need days off. All drinks made to perfection.
As the business climate changes don’t be surprised to see more of these kiosks. Contactless delivery/interaction may be setting the stage for an automated reality. Some may welcome this change. While others won’t be so accepting.
Like it or not automation is here to stay. Soon many companies will began to embrace the modalities that it brings. And reap the profits of automated efficiency.
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