|Perhaps we are not ready to be served by robots / Photo Credit: Zapp2Photo (via Shutterstock)|
San Francisco has automized restaurants in recent years, deploying robots to undertake repetitive tasks that are done by repetition-heavy positions to free up human employees to help provide better customer service, reported Katie Canales of Business Insider, an American business and financial news website. Labor costs and menu prices would be lowered and tipping would become obsolete. This could prompt restaurants to invest more in higher quality ingredients and to drive more profit for business owners.
San Francisco has been the ideal market for robot and semi-robot restaurant testing. One reason is the millennial workforce is busy, so a quick automated culinary experience sounds appealing. Wealth divide, labor shortages, and low wages could be addressed by deploying robots. For example, you could order and pick up your $7 quinoa bowls through futuristic pickup windows at the city’s Eatsa automat, wrote Melia Russell of Business Insider. At a Peter Thiel-backed CafeX coffee bar, a robotic arm serves you your coffee order At Creator, a robot creates your $6 burger from scratch in just five minutes.
Robots in restaurants are indeed innovative, but there are rising concerns about mass unemployment due to automation. There’s also the question of whether people actually like human interaction when they’re being served. Sadly, robot-run restaurants are failing. In July 2019, Eatsa closed after the firm was found to be thousands behind in unpaid rent. CafeX shut down its San Francisco locations, except its franchises at San Francisco International Airport and San Jose Airport. Apparently, the only robot-run restaurant that is doing well is Creator.
Creator has “robot attendants” and humans in most of its restaurants. The robot prepares your burger and the human staff will take your order and do other tasks. Alix Martichoux of San Francisco newspaper SF Gate noted that the robot restaurants he visited and enjoyed the most involved real humans. Hence, the reason why robot-run restaurants are failing is because we are not yet ready to be served by robots.