It’s finally happened. Not content with creating mind reading menus, a Chinese restaurant in the Zhejiang province of China has replaced all of its waiters with robots.
The nameless restaurant is located in a mall in the city of Nigbo and has become quite the tourist attraction. There are 40 robots ‘working’ in the restaurant and all of them are programmed with over 40 different sayings in Mandarin Chinese including ‘enjoy your meal’ and ‘have a nice day’. They’re also equipped with a built in sensor system that stops them from running into walls or people. Useful.
The owner of the restaurant – a guy called Lu Dike – reveals that each of the robots cost him about $9400 and comes with a 5 year warranty. They also last for eight hours after being charged up with a rechargeable battery. Dike argues that he can offset the price of them with the fact that he won’t be paying any wages to them – or the employees they’ve replaced – and that they’ve led his restaurant to become a pretty big tourist attraction in the region. Smart.
Customers are big fans of the robots too, with people flocking from far and wide to experience their unique brand of customer service. Dike says pretty much all the customers love the robots and he even gets asked at least once a day if they can be bought off him. Whilst this isn’t part of the plan just yet, Dike admits that it might be a good sideline for him one day.
Welcome to the future.