Contract caterer Elior UK is trialling an autonomous delivery robot, BellaBot, to serve meals at a retirement village in the Home Counties.
BellaBot, created by GW Projects Ltd, works in the retirement village’s restaurant, delivering trays of food to the tables and assisting with tidying up, allowing the Elior team to spend more time with residents. BellaBot can deliver four 10 kg trays at a time, which adds up to 400 dishes a day – twice the load capacity of manual delivery.
As well as helping to deliver food, BellaBot can also sing and tell jokes, and entertained residents and guests alike over the Jubilee weekend by telling jokes and singing songs, including the National Anthem.
Laura Tighe, MD of health, care and retirement living for Elior UK, said: “We are delighted to welcome BellaBot to our team, which supports Elior’s strategy to introduce new and innovative technology to enhance its service and the customer experience. BellaBot has been very well received by the residents and their guests. The main benefit we have seen is that resident engagement has stepped up as BellaBot’s assistance with delivering food has enabled our staff to spend more time chatting with the residents. At a time when it is challenging to recruit staff, it is amazing to be able to provide our colleagues - through the adoption of robotic technology - with some additional support so that they can focus on customer service.”
A resident added: “It is great fun having BellaBot in the restaurant – I have booked my birthday celebrations in the restaurant so Bella can sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me.”
Recognising that the potential of such technology, Elior is exploring other opportunities where robotics can be deployed both in the retirement living sector and in other parts of the business, including cleaning services.