Los Angeles

Orange County restaurant among those that plan to automate more of their services


VILLA PARK, Calif. (KABC) — Rockwell’s Bakery in Villa Park has been in business for more than 40 years.

“We really love that people can come here and feel like they’re just at home,” said Chanler Skeffington, Rockwell’s director of operations.

The restaurant, bar and bakery has built a loyal customer base over the years.

“Ninety-five percent of our customers are going to be regular based. We see the same people every day,” Skeffington said.

Rockwell’s takes pride in making their guests feel welcomed.

Skeffington said the servers have built relationships with many of the customers.

Over time, restaurants like Rockwell’s have had to shift how they do business, incorporating technology like computers to run more efficiently.

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“We do have iPads right now that we will use on a Friday night or Saturday night when our whole entire patio is packed,” Skeffington said.

A new survey by Popmenu shows 48% of restaurants plan to automate more on-premise functions this year including using artificial intelligence to answer phones or take online orders.

“Ultimately what you have to do is figure out technologies that automate some of that interaction so that there’s less things to manage,” said Tony Roy, a restaurant industry expert.

He added, “For a restaurant that means your servers can handle more tables and for your consumers it means that we have a much smoother transfer of information which cuts down on errors.”

As businesses are hit with staffing shortages and the cost of labor going up as well Roy predicts restaurants will become more dependent on technology.

While Rockwell’s leans into the changes, Skeffington said they will never get rid of the human element servers bring.

“I really do think that we would lose our special touch here,” she said. “Everybody knows everybody here. It’s super local, super regular oriented.”

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