ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The restaurant industry has been one of the hardest hit by the nationwide worker shortage coming out of the pandemic.

The issue is bringing an out-of-the-box idea to reality. The possibility of robots serving at restaurants is now on the table.

Richtech Robotics and Restaurant Conextions showed off the restaurant robots in Rochester on Monday. The goal is to help struggling restaurants find employees and keep up with demand.

The robots can also go up and down elevators and help with room service in hotels. They cost anywhere between $20,000 and $30,000. But President and CEO Gene Trotta argues that the cost is well worth it for dependable staff.

"It's about consistency in being able to do things," said Trotta. "And you'd always have this robot with you. So if someone calls in, you can still do room service. And if you're short on staff this would definitely help you with bussing tables and delivering your food. Even if someone does call in you have the robots to back you up."

The developers of these restaurant robots say they've already been a huge hit all over the country. People love being served by them and take pictures because of the novelty of it all. It's something that could be a new normal in just a few years.

Any businesses interested in buying a restaurant robot can contact either Richtech Robotics or Restaurant Conextions.