robotsIf you take a cruise anytime soon, the bartender may not be able to lend an ear. According to Financial Times, one cruise line has installed robotic bartenders that produce one drink per minute per arm, and can make up to 120 drinks an hour. [7]

It’s not just cruise lines, either. The food industry in the United States is automating. Financial Times described food preparation at a pizza restaurant in California: [7]

“…Pepe squirts tomato sauce on to a pizza base before his colleague Marta spreads it; Noel has 22 seconds to correct any imperfections and add cheese and other toppings, after which Bruno takes the pizza from the line and places it in the oven. But on this production line, only Noel is human. The others – anthropomorphised by name only – are machines conducting tasks usually performed by people.”

The restaurant has 75 human employees who earn about $18.00 an hour. The humans are all given opportunities to take coding classes so they can better understand and manage the robots, as well as the artificial intelligence used to evaluate delivery routes. [7]

Then, there is Sally, a robot offered by a food robotics firm. Sally can produce “… fully-customized, fresh, and healthy salads. Sally’s proprietary technology dispenses measured quantities of more than 20 ingredients – refreshed daily – to create a ready-to-eat meal any time of day.” Alternate versions of this robot will offer Mexican and Indian food choices. [8]

Competition for employees is becoming a significant issue in the restaurant industry, reported the National Restaurant Association. More than a quarter of restaurant operators, who participated in a January 2017 survey, said recruiting and retaining employees is the single most important challenge they face – a 9 percent jump from 2015. That’s the highest level since October 2007. [9]

As anyone who has read my book Mindful Money knows, I usually head out to the backyard with my kids to pick lettuce for our salad. That said, I’m geeky enough to take them to a restaurant to watch Sally and her buddies do there robot thing– once they start assembling healthy kids’ meals!

Weekly Focus – Think About It

“There is a point in every contest when sitting on the sidelines is not an option.”

–Dean Smith, Former Head Coach, University of North Carolina Tar Heels [10]

* These are the general views of Jonathan DeYoe and they should not be construed as investment advice for any individual.

Sources:

[1] https://www.mta.org/kb/three-steps-and-a-stumble/
[2] http://financial-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/three+steps+and+stumble+rule
[3] https://www.ft.com/content/6723f69c-09a4-11e7-ac5a-903b21361b43 (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/03-20-17_FinancialTimes-Fed_Increases_Interest_Rates_as_Inflation_Pressures_Loom-Footnote_3.pdf)
[4] http://www.barrons.com/mdc/public/page/9_3063-economicCalendar.html (click on U.S. & Intl Recaps, select “The central banks have spoken,” and scroll down to the Global Stock Market Recap) (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/03-20-17_Barrons-Global_Stock_Market_Recap-Footnote_4.pdf)
[5] http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-markets-roar-to-life-after-fed-hikes-rates-2017-03-15
[6] http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/16/markets-cheer-dutch-election-results-but-future-elections-cause-concern.html
[7] https://www.ft.com/content/71e8c01e-fac0-11e6-9516-2d969e0d3b65 (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/03-20-17_FinancialTimes-Burgers_and_Mircrochips_on_the_Menu_for_US_Fast-food_Chains-Footnote_7.pdf)
[8] http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/chowbotics-raises-5-million-for-bringing-robotics-to-the-food-industry-300420903.html
[9] http://www.restaurant.org/News-Research/News/Demographic-trends-illustrate-importance-of-foreig
[10] http://www.success.com/mobile/article/19-inspiring-quotes-from-ncaa-basketballs-greatest-coaches

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