Automation has become the buzzword in the corporate industry today. Every single industry now wants to harness the power of automation to leverage the best of resources and effort. You can see robots working in manufacturing industries, drones delivering pizza, and software automation taking the place of humans with precise efficiency and accuracy. The restaurant and retail industries are not aloof.

Startups like Wing based on an automation first approach are gaining the attention from venture funds. The reason is simple- assigning the mundane task of chef to the robot and involving the human to spend time in the creative approach. Unique, organized, and self-managed systems are re-engineering the business more than ever. In recent times of the pandemic when social distancing had become a norm, automated services proved to be a game-changer in the restaurant and retail industry.

Automation in the restaurant and retail industry

Market size

The retail automation market size was valued at $11.24 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach $23.58 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 9.6% from 2019 to 2026. It’s a mammoth number and certainly, there is a lot of potential and scope to make the most of the opportunity. Technological advancement and online marketing have certainly eased the access to connect businesses and customers ever.

Also, read – How restaurant consulting can help grow your food business

How automation is shaping a new future?

From payment handling to customer serving, automation is the future of these industries. Increasing global demand for a skilled workforce and the intention to create a wow user experience has produced the market leader in the retail & restaurant industry with the help of automation.

How is it done?

  1. Self-serving Kiosk: Several large chains, like Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Panera Bread, and Shake Shack are testing a new beginning with serving their customers through automated self-managed kiosks. Just a click on the menu and they can serve customized dishes on the table without any delay. So enjoy the drinks, appetizers, or desserts without a second thought.

  2. Automating delivery: Drone-based delivery can help you get the item through a trained and programmed robot in your house without the hotchpotch of being stuck in traffic. So what’s cooler than enjoying the super high-tech delivery through drones directly to your homes from local hypermarkets.


There are several replacing humans with machines in restaurants and retail:

  1. Error-free delivery and payment handling

  2. Fast processing and more control over scale

  3. 24/7 support or No sick leave

  4. Cheaper service model

Challenges and solution

Though there are a lot of challenges in the development and implementation of fully automated service models as it involves a lot of research, government authorization for public uses, resistance from the human workforce, etc. Additionally, we cannot automate everything and everywhere. There are other concerns also like safety, security, and privacy of customer data as managed by machines. But despite the challenges, several startups have collaborated and come together to combat these challenges. We can hope for a universal solution to the existing issues in the future.

Major warriors in the market

Companies like YPC Technologies, HelloWorld Robotics are transforming the way the retail and restaurant industry work with its automation-first approach.

IVEPOS Point of Sale developed by Intuition system helps business management through its automation software. Using the IVEPOS point of sale system helps enterprises to track sales and inventory in real-time, manage employees and stores, engage with customers and increase revenue.

Final words

Though there is a long mile to walk, the progress so far in the automation tool powered by AI/ML technologies is appreciable. Companies are investing a lot in R&D and soon we will be able to witness the transformation led by automation significantly in the retail and restaurant industry.