So. . . why do Staff travel for Professional Development or to see other Life Plan Communities? The ultimate goal is to improve care and community at Covenant Village. That is why we have a concerted effort to identify Staff to attend our industry’s national and local Leadership Academies. One component of this program is the opportunity to visit other communities that serve as model examples of best practices in senior living.
Recently, Cory Sills, Director of Technology, was on a Leadership Academy venture in Fort Myers, Florida. There, the Academy fellows visited Cypress Cove, where they dined together in one of the main dining rooms. It was there Cory met Servi. And now Cory wants YOU to meet Servi—The Dining CoBot!
What exactly is a “CoBot?” According to Bear Robotics, the makers of the dining CoBot called “Servi,” a CoBot is a computer-controlled robotic device designed to assist a person. In this case, Servi was created to assist with serving food and beverages, as well as bussing tables.
The first thing that many of us think of when we hear “robot” is that we will be deprived of the human interaction that we so greatly value. The wonderful thing about Servi is that this CoBot was not designed to replace humans. Rather, it was designed to assist dining staff in their tasks so they can be more efficient and spend more time with residents/customers, thus providing higher quality service!
The makers of Servi say that this CoBot has the potential to help retain existing staff, as well as recruit new staff. Anytime an organization is willing to be progressive and make changes that will enhance efficiency, efficacy, and overall “user experience,” it becomes an attraction and retainment tool for workers and customers. The goal for us at Covenant Village is to create a better, more efficient, and consistent dining experience for our residents and working environment for our employees.
According to Bear Robotics, Servi is the only NSF Certified Robot on the market, which means that the product has been impartially tested and approved to meet established National Sanitation Foundation standards and guidelines for public health protection. The NSF Certification also demonstrates the organization’s commitment to quality, compliance, and safety (source: nsf.org).
Servi’s standard height is 41” with a cylindrical depth of approximately 17.” Servi also comes in a mini version which sits at 32” tall. This is not the stereotypical robot that meanders around with a face and arms. This CoBot contains 3 trays on the standard version and 2 trays on the mini version, all stacked vertically, one above the other, to maintain its compact nature. These trays are used for holding food, beverages, and dishes. Servi runs on a lithium battery with a life of 8-10 hours and a recharging time of 4 hours. This means that Servi’s shift can last longer than the typical human server, plus it never has sick days or takes vacation!
Though Servi is not intended to replace current servers in our Dining Room, but rather assist them in their work, it is intriguing to see the data on Servi’s labor cost comparison. A rough average of $10,000-$15,000 a year can be saved at CV by utilizing Servi as a work assistant (verses hiring an additional full-time employee to transport food, bus tables, etc.). If one server in the Dining Room can clear multiple tables in one trip by loading Servi up with dishes, that means more time is available to spend with the next resident, and the next resident, etc. Efficiency truly does lead to major cost savings and better server-resident care in this example!
Our first step at Covenant Village will be executing a trial run with a Servi unit. Bear Robotics will lease a unit to us for 4 weeks, which will include on-site training, as well as mapping of our Dining Room so that Servi can be programmed to navigate our dining space. During this time, our dining staff will be trained on how to use and operate Servi, and our residents will be able to get a taste of this new addition to their dining experience.
We are very excited to try out this new level of technology, while welcoming Servi to our Dining Team with high hopes that this CoBot can prove to be an asset to all of us at CV! We look forward to introducing you to Servi!
If you have any questions about Servi, please see Julia Kotecki, Director of Food & Nutrition or Cory Sills. You can also visit https://www.bearrobotics.ai for more information on this CoBot unit.
“It’s great. The tradeoff is the more runs we are able to get with our robots and the more we have them on the floor, the more our servers get to be on the floor and really promote the guest experience.”
-Christian McCallion, Executive Chef, The Ameswell Hotel