An automatic dishwashing room could deliver a better Air Force dining experience

  • Published
  • By Craig Rodarte
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

Who’s turn is it to do the dishes? Raise your hand if you would like it to be the robot’s turn - every time.

Tech. Sgt. Joshua Solomon, food and beverage manager for the Air Force Services Center here, developed an automated tray down racking systems to reduce manual processes and man-hours for food and beverage operations that earned him a spot at this year’s AFIMSC’s Innovation Rodeo.

We asked him a few questions about his idea, being a finalist and his thoughts on innovation and empowering Airmen and Guardians.

Q: What is the name of your idea?
Automatic Robotic Dishwasher Room

Q: Please briefly describe your idea: 
This concept is meant to automate a variety of duties in the dish washroom. It will increase efficiency of our staff by reducing the manual processes and labor currently required. Our design will also help alleviate slipping injuries and heat closures caused by excessive heat in the dishwasher room. 

Q. How will your idea help the Air Force deliver installation and mission support capabilities, improve installations or support families in a better way?
This concept will validate the Air Force as a premier employer at the forefront of innovation, even at the smallest levels of a dining hall. It will improve the customer dining experience, as we magically automate ware washing, reducing time and noise from dish rooms.

Q. How does it feel to be selected as a finalist for the 2023 Innovation Rodeo?
The feeling is surreal! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to showcase and develop a groundbreaking idea to improve the environment and guest’s experiences in dining facilities.

Q. As a finalist, you’ll be learning from leading innovators, collaborating with industry partners and networking with peers, senior leaders, and innovation teams. What are you hoping to gain from that experience? 
I am hoping to gain valuable connections that will enable me to continue to push the envelope forward for innovative and groundbreaking ideas. From our market research, we determined industry, college, university and on-premises dining facility operations also have the same challenges with recruiting and retaining employees within their food and beverage operations.

Q: Why do you think innovation and a culture change that empowers Airmen and Guardians is important in today’s Air and Space Force?
Culture change and innovation push the boundary for change. Remaining the same is to become irrelevant. Designing, improving and executing innovations to solve real-world problems is one of the founding missions of both AFIMSC and the Innovation Rodeo!

The 2023 AFIMSC Innovation Rodeo finals will be held July 21 in San Antonio. For more information, visit