By Roger Noujeim October 5, 2017 Comments Off


First we brought you the automation realities of the fully robotic bartender and the robot pizza maker. That bartender, deployed in a bar in Las Vegas, mixes and serves any drink in 70 seconds.

You’ve likely also heard of the burger maker, ‘Flippy’.

Yesterday we read that Shake Shack in Manhattan will eliminate human cashiers, as a pilot test. If all works well, they will roll out the concept across the entire chain.

Not long before, we wrote about Heinen’s installing state of the art wine dispensing systems at several of their locations in the U.S.

Richmond Wine Station, Crema and Vine and many other social restaurants and wine bars either have already implemented or are currently installing such a system.

And what about Tally, the fully robotic inventory robot that scours a retailer’s aisles all day, scanning inventory and transmitting data in real-time to the warehouse for optimal re-stocking and ordering productivity?


Can you spot the opportunity to increase productivity and lower cost in your restaurant or wine shop by investing in technology and automation?

Or, do you insist on pretending this all is not happening? That it won’t affect your business?

Of course until you are either forced to comply or get out of the game.

In case you missed the report, in August we shared data from Silicon Valley Bank that showed wine consumption in restaurants has overall now slumped for several years in a row.

This puts this article in context, especially for restaurateurs especially, and for wine retailers.

To illustrate the opportunity, and how the best of us can struggle with the idea of automation, I am going to use a real life example.

Yesterday, a restaurant manager I know who barely took advantage of a paid annual subscription to automation software he had signed up for, decided not to renew. Why?

Read their reasoning below and consider it in the context of automation as a key productivity and profit enabler in business:

“I feel it is a very good program with a lot of positive aspects. However we are two very different styles of restaurant – one in the summer – (high volume) and one in the winter (fine service). So our ability to use the program is difficult.”

Basically, this fine professional decided that the status quo is the way to go. Even with wine consumption in restaurants slumping, minimum wages increasing, and server wine knowledge in the casual fine dining restaurant segment in his city being on average, abysmal.

So, when it’s really busy, he feels that automation is of no use. Come winter, he also sees automation as being useless.

Given all the advances and automation examples discussed in this article, and too many others to mention here, why was this restaurateur reluctant to embrace technology? Why did he not spend much, if any time, to deploy and take full advantage of a powerful system for an entire year, even after having paid for it?


Don’t make the mistake of dismissing automation. It is the next big thing in the hospitality and wine business. Or any business for that matter.

Automating anything and everything is the way of the future. The limits appear only where you draw the line.

What is your plan? What can you imagine doing better and faster in your wine program, using fewer people?

Roger Noujeim

Roger Noujeim

Roger is CEO at Quini.

See all of Roger's posts


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