The New "Remote Live" Worker

Worker shortages, shifting employee preferences, and improved technology have created a massive opportunity for new startups.

Divya Pinnaka
See Profile
December 15, 2022

Atlanta Ventures is excited about software solutions in Remote Work. If you are as excited about the space, we would love to hear your thoughts and build with you!

In 2021, a video of a remote Chick-fil-A cashier went viral on TikTok.

The Pandemic has shifted corporations’ and individuals’ ideas of work — allowing employees the flexibility to work from home

Job postings for “virtual receptionists” have increased exponentially. Worker shortages, shifting employee preferences, and improved technology have created a massive opportunity for new startups.

Executive Summary:

-A variety of industries rely on in-person workers to be receptionists, cashiers, and drive-thru workers.

-Software and kiosk-based check-in and ordering systems have changed a customer’s first “point of contact”.

-Remote work enables employees the flexibility to work from home and for employers to save costs on in-person resources (office space, training, computers).

-Worker Shortages have made businesses attract talent by embracing flexible and remote work environments.

Opportunities:

-Customers still need ‘someone’ to take our food order, give us our hotel key, or check in to an appointment. However, that ‘someone’ has evolved — into software.

-Corporations have been tackling worker shortages through solutions such as FaceTime and AI drive-thru ordering, kiosk and app based check-in systems.

-There are a variety of opportunities to implement remote-live workers in different industries, listed below are a few ideas of opportunities for innovation.

Fast Food →

-In 2021 Chick-Fil-A implemented a Remote Drive-Thru worker using an iPad

-McDonald's implemented AI voice ordering in Chicago in 2021, which was only 85% accurate.

-Panera Bread started testing AI ordering in New York drive-thru orders.

Chick Fil A Remote Cashier

Healthcare →

-Self Check-in Kiosks at hospitals can limit exposure to germs

-Kiosks can eliminate the need for an in-person waiting room, and allow patients to directly check-in and see their doctor.

Hotels →

-Self Check in Kiosks and Mobile Check in systems remove the need to get a physical key from the front desk

-Check-in is a straightforward process —new guests are asked the same questions every time (name, move in, move out). Software streamlines this process for a quicker move in experience

Office Buildings →

-When entering a large office building, you are greeted by a receptionist to find your way to a meeting — typically a minute interaction.

-Virtual Receptionists are still an early idea, yet slowly becoming a reality.

-Remote ‘Live’ receptionists incorporate a human element to a kiosk — and are able to answer your questions without being physically present.

Shopping Centers →

-“Can I assist you” is a question often asked by a sales associate in a store.

-If a customer is looking for a specific item, color or brand, a remote live worker can assist from a customer's phone , or kiosk system.

The Market for Virtual Assistants / Receptionists is valued at $50.9B by 2028.

-According to McKinsey, 87% of people prefer to work remotely.

-Job Postings for remote receptionists and workers are on the rise.

Solutions in Market:

Virtual Worker →

Smith AI — 24/7 Virtual Receptionists and live chat for small businesses (Seed — $7M in Funding)

Bite Ninja — Remote hiring technology platform for restaurants (YC Seed — $16M in Funding)

Nexa — 24/7 live virtual receptionists and answering services (Private Equity funding)

Alice Receptionist — Visitor Management Solutions, motion-activated virtual receptionist (Equity Crowdfunding)

Mobile Check-In / Ordering →

Mariott Bonvoy — Mobile Check in for Marriott hotels (Private — developed internally by Marriott)

Canary Technologies — App-based Hotel Check-in System (Series B— $47M in Funding)

Kiosks →

Virtual Front Desk —Kiosk-based customer service through video calls (Private)

Analysis:

-The “Remote Video Receptionist” is an emerging market— companies have prototyped ideas, yet none are implemented at scale.

-Kiosks and app-based check-ins are the most popular solutions — seen in Airports, Hotels, and Fast Food ordering systems.

-Fast food restaurants seem to be the biggest opportunity for remote-live ordering — restaurants have been severely short-staffed since the pandemic, and employees are preferring remote and hybrid work options. Businesses have ‘forced’ solutions such as Chick-Fil-A Using FaceTime to take orders. There is a large opportunity to build and incorporate software for drive-thru orders.

Five Predictions for 2030:

-Cashiers at drive-thru restaurants will be able to take orders remotely while proving the same customer experience as in-person ordering.

-Check-in systems at hotels and offices will become shift to apps or kiosk-based check-in systems, with options for live assistance.

-The remote worker trend will push industries such as fast food, retail, and commercial spaces to enable job flexibility for employees.

-Job postings for remote receptionists and cashiers will increase significantly and become the new normal.

-Startups will emerge tackling remote-live workers for a variety of industries — including fast food drive-thru, office building receptions, doctor’s offices, hotels, airports and much more.

Are you excited about this!?

Build with Atlanta Ventures or reach out for capital.


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