Robots in service experiences: negotiating food tourism in pandemic futures

Purpose – This research discusses the role of service robots in gastronomic and dining experiences in a post–coronavirus disease (COVID) world. Design/methodology/approach – The research note draws on secondary data to analyse the use of robots as an important mechanism to address the impacts of global disease outbreaks on the food industry, as related to hospitality and tourism. Findings – Hospitality and tourism services are highly affected by the current travel bans, lockdowns and health-related rules that have emerged to manage the current pandemic (COVID-19). This research showcases the role of service robots in food encounters in hospitality and tourism as agents that contribute to safe and innovative experiences. Originality/value – This research note explores how the use of robots in tourism futures will not only transform food experiences, but it is also critical to sustainable development of communities and destinations in a future that will continuously have to deal with disease outbreaks and pandemics with continued travel mobilities ​
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