Zionsville senior community brings in robots to fill dining services roles

When it comes to staffing shortages, Hoosier Village went for a futuristic solution.

 Logan Gay
Source: WTHR

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. — A Boone County senior living community has employed a futuristic solution in their kitchen.  

Hoosier Village Retirement Community believes they have found the perfect answer to staffing shortages: robots. 

You’ll find two of them servicing breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the community’s two newest “employees” are getting rave reviews.

“They work seven days a week, three meals a day. You couldn’t ask for anything more from anybody, said executive director Mindy Kantz. “We really didn’t know how residents were going to react to them. Sometimes change is hard, but it’s been exciting and fun, and a nice way to come out of a pandemic.”

Kantz said they had to get serious about finding a solution to the staffing issues much of the country is facing. They took the creative route.

“The robots are kind of original and creative and they haven’t rolled over anybody yet. In fact, they know exactly what to do,” said resident Ron Martin. “I just never thought they would be used like that, but it’s very practical.”

Kantz says the plan isn’t to eliminate positions.

“It’s not to replace staff, but to enhance what they can do and keep our servers in the front of the house so they don’t have to go back to the back of the house and worry about plating food,” she said.

It’s a pretty easy process.

“The robots will be stationed in the back of the kitchen. The food will then be prepped and plated and put on the robots,” said Kantz.

Staff said this is just the beginning of what they hope to use the robots for, and the possibilities are endless.

“They’re fun, exciting. It’s a different atmosphere in the dining room with the robots. We like them,” said Martin.

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