An interesting innovation recently piloted in London is a move towards an automatic pub. Robot Pub Group now offer a table where users can serve themselves from a tap and monitor their bar tab as night progresses. Customers can also order food and make juke box selections without leaving the table. What are the advantages to the publican? Increased sales and reduced staffing. As staffing represents a major cost in all hospitality operations the ability of a single member of staff to handle multiple covers and no queue at the bar both saves money and improves the customer’s experience.
Will we see this as a new trend? It’s difficult to say but in some countries the financial saving from low staffing have seen self service unmanned petrol service stations become popular and perhaps with ever tighter margins the pub trade will be no different.