With Office in Southlake, San Francisco’s RobotLAB Launches Robot Franchising Initiative

Restaurants across North Texas have been testing table-side food delivery robots, while delivery robots have rolled down sidewalks at places like the SMU campus. That trend may be reaching critical mass, with RobotLab launching what it calls a "first-of-its-kind" robotics franchising program. It goes beyond restaurant robots to include solutions for delivery, cleaning, education, and customer service.

The robots will serve you now. That’s been true in North Texas for some time now, with restaurants across the region testing table-side food delivery robots, from La Duni in Dallas to Fort Worth’s Japan House to Chili’s locations across DFW. Meanwhile, delivery robots have rolled down sidewalks in places like the SMU campus.

Now the trend has gone beyond testing and proceeded straight to franchising. Today San Francisco-based RobotLAB—whose central U.S. office is in the DFW suburb of Southlake—launched what it calls a “first-of-its-kind” robotics franchising program. 

Beyond restaurant robots to cleaning, delivery, education, and customer service

Softbank Whiz is a commercial robot vacuum [Photo: SoftBank Robotics]

Available now in nearly 40 U.S. states, the franchise opportunity aims to meet rapidly growing demand for AI-powered robotic solutions not just in restaurants but in all sectors—including cleaning, delivery, education, and customer service.

But restaurant server robots seem to be especially in RobotLAB’s wheelhouse. The company says on LinkedIn that in one year alone, a fleet of its service delivery robots served 2.5 million plates, traveling over 28,000 miles—”That’s 1.2 X the circumference of the earth.”

Demand for robots is increasing ‘exponentially as labor shortages persist’

Pudu Robotics' PuduBot delivers food to a family at a restaurant.

Pudu Robotics’ PuduBot. China-based Pudu is one of RobotLAB’s many longstanding partners. [Video still: Pudu Robotics]

Part of what’s driving the demand for robots, RobotLAB says, is the persistent labor shortage problem across the nation, with jobs going unfilled to do everything from vacuuming carpets in senior living centers to, yes, bring that lava cake to your table.

RobotLAB has a long roster of longstanding partnerships with some of the world’s top robot manufacturers, along with more than 10,000 robots deployed worldwide. Founded in 2007, the company says its “unparalleled sector acumen and experience has kept it on the vanguard of the robotics industry, which it will now leverage and share with savvy and passionate entrepreneurs looking to experience the world’s first robotics integration franchising program.”

“The national conversation around artificial intelligence and the resulting interest in the inherent advantages of robotics has created a strong tailwind that’s propelling the industry demand for a more efficient and cost-effective approach to business in critical sectors,” Elad Inbar, founder and CEO of RobotLAB, said in a statement.

“As the incorporation of robots becomes increasingly ubiquitous, franchising allows RobotLAB to better serve our growing customer base with passionate, well-trained and skilled franchisees who are experts in the communities where they operate and will provide the highest level of customer service, including timely robot demos, training, service, repair and more,” Inbar added.

‘Can be integrated seamlessly into nearly every business’

RobotLAB says its robotics franchise program “features minimal overhead, comprehensive training, limited staffing requirements, and attractive revenue opportunities in a fast-growing industry with limitless potential,” and notes that robotics solutions “can be integrated seamlessly into nearly every business.”

“After 15 years of successfully integrating robots across many economically critical industries, franchising was an obvious next step in maintaining top-tier customer service and meeting the ever-increasing national demand for robotics solutions,” Paul Knaack, director of franchising at RobotLAB, said in the statement. “As our franchising program expands, we’ll continue to eliminate distance- and demand-related obstacles, resulting in faster, one-on-one service for business owners eager to harness the power of robotics integration.”

The company says its franchisees will select territories covering areas of 150,000 people and will have full license to market, sell, program, deploy, and service robots for all businesses in the territory. “Franchisees and their teams will engage in extensive training led by RobotLAB to ensure the localization of its signature A-to-Z customer service model. RobotLAB is expected to soon finalize several multi-territory agreements across the nation, underscoring the immense and immediate groundswell of enthusiasm for this revolutionary robotics franchising program,” the company added.

RobotLAB’s roboticists have effectively deployed thousands of robots to an array of businesses worldwide, the company noted— “demonstrating a clear path to the successful and highly specialized integration of robotics solutions.”

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R E A D   N E X T

  • The startup's nail painting robot provides a "fast-casual" version of a manicure.

  • Michigan-based RoboTire uses "state-of-the-art robotics and advanced algorithms" to change a vehicle's tires in a fraction of the time it takes humans to do it, "reducing an hour-long experience to under 25 minutes while maintaining the highest levels of safety." The Arlington location is the second of Discount Tire's 1,100 stores to implement the system. And it's not a coincidence—Discount Tire is a RoboTire investor.

  • Bear Robotics makes table bussing, food running, and drink-serving hospitality robots that have wheeled meals to tables in Chili's restaurants and other eateries across the country. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, with a second office in Addison, Bear was one of more than 20 restaurant tech companies that vied for entry in US Foods' incubator program. Bear's successful demos and operator interest led US Foods to add the company to its nationwide Business Tools program.

  • The Yomi robotic system, developed by Miami-based Neocis, is assisting with dental implants in at least two Dallas-area practices. "It works like a GPS navigation system for the mouth,” says Coppell's Dr. J. Robert Steele. At ArchPoint in Dallas, 172 implants in 90 cases have been placed using Yomi, with patients being "intrigued" by the "minimally invasive experience." Cool fact to watch for below: Yomi's co-developer won an Emmy for creating ESPN's "K-Zone" pitch tracker.

  • Robots, start your engines! Beginning Tuesday through May 4, more than 30,000 students from all 50 states and more than 50 countries are bringing their custom-built robots to the REC Foundation's 16th annual VEX Robotics World Championship at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.