Everyone knows about Japan and their obsession with anything robotic, but China is no slouch either when it comes to metallic innovation. Certainly a nation of many quality chefs, robot gourmands, once acquired, may need some oiling and maintenance once in a while, but a restaurant owner will never be besieged with demands for salary increases, vacation time and other employee benefits.

In Shanghai, Wishdoing is a popular fast-food restaurant located on Nanjing Road. Its owners have recently purchased two robots (at $30,350 each) that can cook Chinese popular specialties. These include: spicy diced chicken with peanuts, Kung Pao chicken and Mapo Tofu (bean curd with chili sauce).

“All one needs to do is press the button on the robots to choose a dish and they will display the name of the ingredients and their quantities,” claims a press release from the restaurant.

These robots are highly efficient and the restaurant chain is slated to install them at all its 100 outlets across the country. Creators of the robot chefs might work on giving their creations more of a human appearance, but as they stand these cyber chefs are workaholics that only need three minutes to wash the pots from a previous order, mix the ingredients, finish the cooking and then place the food onto a plate for serving.

“We believe the cooking robots will become a trend in the future for the fast-food industry as they guarantee low-carbon emission, food safety and standard tastes that don’t change from one outlet to another,” stated a spokesman for the parent company of the fast-food chain, Shanghai Qi Ding Food Development Company.

Human kitchen staff employed by the company will not lose their jobs (at least not yet).

Welcome to the age of gastronomic robots.

One question lingers in the air:

What if, God forbid, a customer is unhappy with the food created by the chefs?

Who do they send it back to?

Food for thought, no?




M Dee Dubroff is the penname of this freelance writer and former teacher originally from Brooklyn, New York. A writer of ghostly and horror fiction, she has branched out into the world of humorous non fiction writing and maintains eight web sites covering a wide variety of topics. She also writes feature articles for several local newspapers. Her book entitled: A Taste of Funny, and her website, Eat, Drink And Really Be Merry (http://www.ingestandimbibe.com) feature many well researched and humorous articles on the subject of food and drink.