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A&O Hostels using cleaning robots to support their staff in their hostels

BY EDITOR FEBRUARY 26, 2024



A&O Hostels using cleaning robots to support their staff and improve processes in their hostels.


A&o is the biggest private owned hostel chain in Europe operating 39 houses in 23 cities.  However, in the current hospitality climate, they had a problem finding staff. For that reason they thought that they should start exploring  a new alternative and a more innovative path. This is when they decided to switch to robots.


A&O started the process of meeting with partners that supplied equipment and materials and enquired about what alternatives there were on the market. They quickly came across partners who offered robotic solutions, and it became clear that this is the future.


The introduction of 20 vacuuming robots (called “Whiz” and made by SoftBank Robotics) in 20 of their 40 locations initially was relatively (and surprisingly) straightforward, because the ease of use of the robots aroused the curiosity of their employees.


Most of their cleaning staff are now motivated to see that innovation is still possible in their jobs and their field of activity, and Whiz is an extremely useful assistant.


A&O found the work carried out by Whiz is much more continuous, but with the same high quality and consistently high quantity. They found the operation and maintenance to be simple. Thanks to the use of robots, they are now saving around two-thirds of the previous costs. 


Paul Flügel, Controller Housekeeping, said of the launch, “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 skeptical 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.”


To find out more about Whiz, contact SoftBank Robotics EMEA, Welcome to SoftBank Robotics EMEA


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