WMF explores robotics in a cafe

WMF professional coffee machines use robotics to support a new way of enjoying coffee in a coffee shop.

        Robotics is increasingly becoming an important part of the hospitality industry. “Robot chefs” in the kitchen, self-service cafes supported by robots and professional WMF coffee machines are just the beginning.
       Benjamin Turner, Vice President of Digital at WMF Professional Coffee Machines, said: “The greatest potential of digitalization lies in making communication between guests, service staff and coffee machines as efficient and convenient as possible through networking and automation.”
        “Companies need to consider trends in today's customer experience, such as contactless payments, fast communication and interaction channels, and customer personalization. These aspects can be effectively and impressively implemented with the concept of robots.”
        To meet this growing demand, WMF has partnered with Korean coffee chain Coffeebanhada and Slovak startup Rossum Café to supply them with coffee machines and technical expertise. “The high-performance WMF 5000 S+ coffee machine is controlled by a high-tech robotic arm.


        Coffeebanhada and Rossum Café not only make it quick and easy to prepare the desired specialty coffee, but also offer guests a unique presentation - a special coffee experience. “Coffeebanhada Cafe has been focusing on the modern concept of self-service since it was founded in 2011. In 2017, the company launched a barista robot of its own design called Episode Marco, which is used in unmanned cafe branches. Coffeebanhada coffee houses have been called "smart cafes". and make up about a quarter of the more than 600 cafes operated by Coffeebanhada.
        Coffeebanhada has paired Episode Marco with WMF automation since January 2021 through WMF's local channel partner, Dooree Corporation. Since January 2022, Coffeebanhada has equipped 85 smart cafes with WMF 5000 S+ machines.
       “At Coffeebanhada, the first step was to learn how best to connect the Episode Marco robot to a fully automatic coffee machine. WMF engineers mainly focused on connecting and programming the interface, as well as cashless payment methods through smartphones and credit cards, among other devices that require connection Turner said.
        “The WMF project leader was able to draw on the digital knowledge and experience of similar projects such as Cafe X, the first robot equipped with our machines about 10 years ago, or MyAppCafé, one of the first stand-alone coffee stations with a barista robot. in Germany. production."
       The coffee machine and barista robot, along with a connected ice maker, can now serve Coffeebanhada guests around the clock, reflecting Korean market preferences such as Americano, Latte or Mocha.
       "[Robots] in the spotlight show that these futuristic self-service cafes can actually attract customers even without people," Turner said.


       Thanks to a local WMF partner in the Czech Republic, Rossum Café in Slovakia has also been using high-performance WMF machines since the opening of its first automatic coffee bar in 2020.
       “Like Coffeebanhada, Rossum Café uses a high-tech robotic arm and a professional WMF 5000 S+ coffee machine to prepare delicious drinks. Here, the establishments also remain unattended and always offer the possibility of cashless payment,” says Turner.
        “However, Rossum Café is not a cafe in the traditional sense, but a stand-alone coffee station that can be compared to a small kiosk. Thanks to their compact design and small dimensions, they are easy to install in shopping malls. like airports, train stations or airports, they attract travelers and other customers with their impressive technology and exquisite design, offering them fresh coffee.”
       According to Turner, the WMF 5000 S+ was chosen because of its wide range of configuration and customization options.
       “At Coffeebanhada and Rossum Cafe, the fully automatic WMF 5000 S+ is the most suitable machine for the job due to its high capacity (up to 250 cups per day), wide range of specialty coffees and the ability to flexibly integrate upstream and downstream technologies. from client systems,” he said.
       Turner adds that the WMF 5000 S+ was used in Rossum Café's first own café, but has since been customized to better serve customers.
       “In order for the robot to properly activate these features, we have implemented a remote API programming interface and configured it individually,” he said.
       WMF coffee machines have different network options - either locally via a direct connection between the coffee machine and the control computer or robot, or via the cloud.


        “At the end of the day, seamlessly combining robotics and coffee machines to create innovative and end-to-end solutions is one of the core competencies of WMF developers,” says Turner. WMF believes that digitalization is the driving force behind future innovation in both business and customer loyalty and experience.
       “From the customer’s point of view, the emphasis is clearly on efficiency and profitability, as well as on the lack of human resources. Digitization of processes is critical, especially since we are seeing a widespread shortage of skilled labor and personnel in many industries,” says Xie Na.
        “On the one hand, this is due to the repetitive workflows that until now have been done manually. On the other hand, it has to do with the automation of data flows.”
       Many companies today still store company-specific information in separate data warehouses, Turner said, and consolidating that data can be costly and time-consuming.
       “If we look at it from an external perspective, or from the perspective of the customer and their enjoyment, digitalization can offer completely new offerings, especially in terms of self-service areas or contactless ordering and payment. The end goal is always to retain sustainable customers with with the help of positive experience Loyalty, so we clearly focus on digitalization as the right path to the future,” he said.
       Turner also believes that further digitization will increase the need for customers to access information and services at any time.
       "The push for 24/7 service will further supplant concepts like traditional business hours. Self-service solutions will greatly benefit from this development, especially self-driving stores, as well as robotic cafes with an experience factor," he said.
       “Another factor in the growing digitalization of the hospitality industry is rising expectations for product quality. This is clearly reflected in the need to seamlessly integrate digital touchpoints, mobile payment products and loyalty programs into the customer journey.”

Post time: Aug-22-2023