The current population of China is estimated to be in the neighborhood of 1.355 billion people.
So, if you were Chinese and planned to open a new restaurant, who would you hire to staff it? Most people would automatically hire humans—especially if the population pool exceeds 1 billion.
But that’s not the way some Chinese think—at least it’s not the way that the owners of the Dalu Rebot Restaurant, in Jinan, northern China’s Shandong Province, think.
The popular, trendy restaurant “employs” six shiny, copper-colored robots that can serve as many as 100 demanding, hungry humans. These mechanical wonder-waiters never grow tired or short-tempered; they don’t have feet that hurt; and they don’t complain about poor tips. In fact, they don’t receive any tips at all, except perhaps for an occasional drop of oil.
The restaurant is cleverly designed around the robots: 21 tables are positioned in circles that allow the busy waiters to zip their way along a pre-established path. Diners are waited on by the efficient robot wait staff in order of rotation.
After serving the diners their meals, the robots whisk their way back to the kitchen—run by humans—and refill their wheeled carts for the next go-around.
Wang Xianwei, a spokesperson for the Dalu Rebot Restaurant, affirmed to reporters that only robots wait on the tables.
Although customers are also greeted by a pair of friendly robots at the entrance, the meals—primarily variations of a Chinese fondue—are all prepared by human cooks. At least the cooking is done by people for now…that may change in the future.
The restaurant glibly advertises: “With two robot receptionists and a full robotic wait staff, the Dalu Rebot Restaurant is a great place to grab a bite and get closer to your future.”
Of course! What better way to spend a business lunch hour? Why not escape the hustle and bustle of the office for the hustle and bustle of a crowded robotic restaurant? One can have his or her choice of Chinese fondue or Chinese fondue.
The Jetsons didn’t have it so good; they only had Rosie the robot.
The futuristic restaurant was the brainchild of the Shandong Dalu Science and Technology Company. The technology firm has announced its intention to expand upon the concept.
Zhang Yongpei, a spokesperson for Shandong Dalu stated: “Next, we’ll develop robots which can climb stairs and help with kitchen chores like washing the dishes.
“And our waitresses will become more sophisticated so they can go direct to a customer’s table and even refill diners’ drinks.”
Eventually the restaurant plans to expand the “staff” to 40 robots doing various jobs.
If this trend keeps up, one day not only the staff will be made up of robots, the customers may be robots too.
Robot waiter pushes food cart
Robot waiter arrives at table