SW China opens its first restaurant using robot staff

Global Business

A restaurant staffed by robots, the first of its kind in southwest China, opened Thursday in the city of Chengdu, southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

The Sichuanese eatery — located in one of Chengdu’s best-known business districts, Chunxi Road — attracted a number of customers with its futuristic waitpeople Thursday, the first day of its trial operation.

“I’ve never been to a restaurant that has robots instead of human serving food, so this is a great novelty to me. I am very curious about how they work and I would like to play with them,” said a customer.

The one-meter-tall robots (3.2 feet) — which run on a rechargeable battery — take orders, deliver dishes, and even greet customers with a basic Chinese vocabulary. Each machine travels through the restaurant using an optical sensing system that is designed to keep them from running into walls or people.

The 10 robots each costs over 70,000 yuan ($11,000) but owner Mr. Zong insists that he is still saving money in the long run.

“This restaurant is quite big, so the workload here can be very demanding for our waitpeople. The robots come as a big help to the employees, and they also serve as a high-tech entertainment for the customers who come here to enjoy the food,” said the owner.

This story is compiled with information from the CCTV News Content.