It is no secret that the hospitality industry has been facing problems with recruiting and finding staff, and this challenge is no different at the a&o Hostel group.
a&o is the biggest privately owned hostel chain in Europe, operating 39 houses in 23 cities. They too have had a big problem finding staff, and as such were forced to look for new alternatives and a move innovative path moving forward to help with their everyday operations. This was why they decided to switch to robots, and introduce robotic solutions into their hostel accommodation.
a&o spoke with partners that supplied equipment and materials to their hostels and enquired about what alternatives there were on the market. They quickly came across partners who offered robotic solutions, and it became clear to them that robotics is the future.
The introduction of robots in 20 out of 40 of their locations was relatively (and surprisingly for them) straightforward, because of the ease of use of the robots, and the fact it aroused curiosity amongst their employees. Their cleaning staff are now motivated to see that innovation is possible within their jobs and Whiz, the autonomous vacuum cleaner, has become an extremely useful assistant for them.
a&o found the work carried out by Whiz is continuous, but with the same high quality and consistent high quantity of vacuuming. They also found the operation and maintenance to be simple.
Thanks to the use of the robots, they are also now saving around two-thirds of the previous costs.
Paul Flügel, Controller Housekeeping says, “It is nice to see how the employees take care of their new colleague, how they check he is doing well, and how he becomes more and more part of the team, even though he cannot speak.
It is nice to see how our cleaning providers, who were very sceptical about using robots in the beginning, are now seeing the use of robots in an increasingly positive way, optimising their processes more and more, as they try to free up capacity for their workers to carry out activities which the robot cannot yet achieve.
If I had to decide again to roll out the Whiz robots across the board, I would do it sooner. Describing Whiz in one word, it is a partner, a huge support.
See the full a&o Case Study video here to find out more about how our Whiz vacuum cleaner can help hotels and hostels in their operations: