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Elior UK introduces use of robotic technology into health, care and retirement living sector to increase efficiency and enhance customer service
Bella Bot, an autonomous delivery robot supplied by GW Projects Ltd, has joined the team at a retirement village, where Elior provides catering services, to assist with the day-to-day restaurant service.
Bella works in the restaurant at the retirement village and delivers trays of food to the tables and assists with clearing the tables, freeing up the Elior team to spend more time interacting with the residents. Bella can deliver four 10 kg trays at once – twice the load capacity of manual delivery – and can deliver up to 400 dishes a day.
As well as helping to deliver food, Bella can also sing and tell jokes and interact with the residents and their guests. Over the Queen’s Jubilee weekend, Bella delighted grand and great grandchildren by entertaining them with jokes and songs including singing the National Anthem and by purring when they petted her.
Laura Tighe, Managing Director of Health, Care & Retirement Living for Elior UK, said: “We are delighted to welcome Bella Bot to our team which supports Elior’s strategy to introduce new and innovative technology to enhance its service and the customer experience. Bella 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 Bella’s assistance with delivering food as 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 in the retirement village, commented: “It is great fun having Bella in the restaurant – I have booked my birthday celebrations in the restaurant so Bella can sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me.”
Recognising that the use of robotics has the potential to enhance the customer experience and transform the operations, 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.