The Dalu Robot Restaurant, in Jinan, northern China’s Shandong Province, has a very special wait staff indeed. All of the waitresses (six in total) are robots that follow a fixed route that can serve up to 100 diners.
Developed by the Shandong Dalu Science and Technology Company, the 21 tables are set up in circles and diners are served in rotation. After serving the food, the robots prepare for the next round of customers by returning to the kitchen to refill their carts.
Humans prepare all of the food in the kitchen, which consists mostly of Chinese fondue. Other human staff welcome customers and explain how the restaurant works and what they can expect from their waitresses.
The developers of this idea are hoping to take the concept even further.
“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 directly to a customer’s table and even refill drinks,” said restaurant spokesman, Zhang Yongpei.
A few questions linger in the restaurant air:
What if you want to change your order or ask a question?
How much should you tip a mechanized waitress? (After all, what can they do with the money?)