Not Even Waiters are What They Used to Be
In the Chinese province of Shandong, a restaurant has opened recently posing as the latest example of advanced technology. Namely, the newly opened Dalu Robot restaurant is the first one where guests are waited on by robot waiters. The restaurant “employs” more than 10 robots working as waiters, animators and hosts. The interior features futuristic feel with dim lights and neon flashing. The advantage of robots as hospitality personnel is clearly reflected in their never losing patience or taking tips, while serving the meals “with a smile”! Each robot has a built-in sensor signalling when it should stop to allow a guest to take a meal they want. The tables are carefully arranged in a circle to make it easier for the “waiters” to move between their guests and serve them. In the course of a meal, the guests are entertained by robots dancing and talking. On coming into the restaurant, the guests are welcomed by the “robothostess” in her electronic voice. The automatic personnel is also responsible for collecting customer complaints, but whether this step means the launch of the new trend in hospitality industry remains to be seen in a few months. The restaurant owner wishes to provide another 30 robots in following months, each worth US$ 6,000. Also, he plans to develop more human-like robots, going even up and down the stairs.