Free rentals of server robot Dilly in South Korea.
Online food delivery application Baedal Minjok (Baemin), operated by Woowa Brothers, said it will provide free rentals of server robot Dilly to 50 restaurants starting mid-April for two months.
Woowa Brothers said the program aims to support businesses struck hard by COVID-19, but it is also seen as an attempt to restore its reputation impaired from the recent introduction of a new fee system that provoked a backlash for allegedly increasing commission fees.
Woowa is also hoping to expand its server robot business in the food service industry.
Now is good timing as barely any local firms are offering server robot rental services.
If restaurant owners prefer the convenience of using robots, they will pay to continue the service subscription after the free trial period is over.
Currently, Woowa Brothers’ Baemin sets its subscription price at 900,000 won per month for a two-year contract. The price rises to 1.2 million won per month if a restaurant uses it for only one year.
Considering that a person on minimum wage would work for an average five hours every day for a month for the same price, it is a much better choice to rent a robot waiter that can work the whole day. The minimum wage is 8,590 won per hour.
The online food delivery application has already provided 23 robots to 16 restaurants across the country since last November.
The restaurant owners gave the service 4.5 out of 5 on a survey asking their satisfaction with the rental service and 6 out of 7 for convenience of operating a Dilly.
The app operator had originally planned to provide 10 machine servers at 10 restaurants but 164 shops applied for the program.
The potential for the robot server rental service is huge and demand is expected to grow as machines become more sophisticated.
In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the platform business is a rising superpower, and when it becomes a dominant player it will be able to launch various derivative businesses to maximize profits.
For instance, nearly half of customers ordering food online choose Baemin, and if it successfully establishes its robot rental business, it can provide combined services offering both delivery and robot rental services at a low price.