Hilton Omaha breakfast
Photograph ©2023 by Brian Cohen.

Hotel Restaurant Robot An “Innovative Solution”? Yeah. Right.

The experience was not tray, tray chic.

I recently reported on what I consider to be the most ridiculous hotel breakfast service that I have ever experienced while I was on a business trip, which included a robot that was in operation in the restaurant of the hotel property at where I stayed — but did you know that the hotel restaurant robot is an “innovative solution”?

Hotel Restaurant Robot An “Innovative Solution”? Yeah. Right.

Hilton Omaha breakfast
Photograph ©2023 by Brian Cohen.

That is apparently what the director of food and beverage at the Hilton Omaha hotel property told a reader of The Gate With Brian Cohen in the following communication in response to one of those surveys that are sent to guests after they check out of a hotel property:

Dear Xxxxx:

Thank you for providing feedback regarding your recent stay in Omaha. I am sorry the food was cold and you found the selection to be small. Are you available for a call in the next day or two to discuss your restaurant experience? Was it a specific item that was cold or was it multiple items and days? Are there additional menu items you felt would be a good addition to our current menu?

I’m sorry you found our food runner robots to be a joke. In our world they are not a laughing matter. We have two and they are in place to supplement the team members we do have. One trip from the kitchen to the bar and back to the kitchen is 120 yards. In 2022 the robots traveled a combined 1,000 miles transporting food from the kitchen to the restaurant floor. This afforded our bartenders, food runners, and managers, an additional 410 hours of guest facing time. This time is extremely important to the overall guest experience and we are thrilled to have found an innovative solution.


Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxx
Director of Food & Beverage

Both the e-mail address and the telephone number were omitted from being published in this article.

Final Boarding Call

Hilton Omaha breakfast
Photograph ©2023 by Brian Cohen.

I must give credit to the director of food and beverage at the Hilton Omaha hotel property for proactively responding to a customer whose experience was less than ideal; but I have to say that according to my experience, the food runner robot did not afford the human beings “additional hours of guest facing time” at breakfast in the restaurant. In fact, the service in general during my dining experience was rather abysmal.

If a hotel property is part of what is purportedly a “full-service” brand, then the entire experience needs to be full service — including the restaurant and bar area…

…but to offer an impersonal experience that is both limited in service and rather strange in general almost suggests to me that the hotel property simply “gave up” on the concept of full service. No self-service buffet of any kind was offered as an alternative. Despite the aforementioned explanation, the robot did not seem to serve much of a purpose — and did not improve upon a service which could not have been much worse.

In my opinion, the breakfast at hotel properties which are part of the Hampton Inn and Home2 Suites brands — as only two of many examples — far exceeds the experience in this restaurant. At least a waffle is available at hotel properties that are a part of those brands.

When that reader of The Gate With Brian Cohen — who wishes to remain anonymous — read about my experience, he thought it was funny and had to relate his experience. I thank him for doing so.

All photographs ©2023 by Brian Cohen.

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