Margiotta Food & Wine: Customer Service through Service Robots
In 2018, high-end supermarket chain Margiotta Food & Wine (Margiotta) employed a robot named Fabio at one of its flagship stores to deliver in-store customer service. Founded in 1956, Margiotta retailed three product lines namely food, wine and 'local and organic' at their seven retail stores in Edinburgh, Scotland. However, within one week of its installation, Fabio was fired because of its inability to adequately deliver quality customer service. The customers developed a lot of resistance in accepting assistance from Fabio for their grocery shopping. The Fabio programmers, the Heriot-Watt University Interaction Lab, believe that a newer version of Fabio would be "crueller and more conniving" in delivering customer service. In the future therefore, Margiotta may very well have to take a decision on deploying a robot again. It would have to carve out strategies to proactively reduce customer resistance towards new version of Fabio, which eventually may ameliorate brand experience for Margiotta customers. In addition, Margiotta's employees were seen to have developed a state of positive emotion (love) towards Fabio. Employees were visibly disappointed when customer service through Fabio was discontinued. Hence, when the next version of Fabio is installed, Margiotta promoters would have to carefully manage employee emotions.