Robot.he - Innovating on staff
Admittedly, it's at first a bit strange when you arrive at Robot.He. This restaurant, part of the Chinese Hema (Alibaba's supermarket chain) is staffed by robots. However, you will first be shown to your table by a hostess who explains how the restaurant works. According to Robot.He, it's all a matter of time; people need to get used to this new form of restaurant.
At your table, you order the dishes you want on your own smartphone and you also pay for them straight away. Then your order is sent to the kitchen (where a team of real chefs prepares your order) and to your table tablet where you can track the status of your order down to the second. When your order is ready, it will be placed in the serving robot that will drive to your table via a special delivery lane. The robot is equipped with a transparent lid so you can see the order but no one can pinch your food. Once the robot reaches your table, the lid opens and you can take your plate. And the robot is nothing less than hospitable, wishing you bon appetit before driving back to the kitchen. Or to a charging station if its battery is low: the robot monitors itself.
Finished eating? Then you summon the clearing-away robot on which you place your dirty plates. This one drives to the dish-washing area, and you can get up and continue on your way.
Whether this really is the future of the hospitality industry, you can but wonder. It is very individual and it feels far from service-oriented. Of course, the personnel costs are nil, which fits well with a supermarket.