" Robots serving spicy soup at Haidilao’s hotpot spots"
Really? Replacing people to keep expanding? What if the robot breaks down? No one to service!
“Haidilao is not just a restaurant — we’re also a company that also does manufacturing and logistics,” chairman Zhang Yong (張勇) told a briefing in Tokyo yesterday. “Before the food is brought to the table, it’s all a manufacturing process. After that, the service aspect takes over.”
As a restaurant owner you would just get an SLA with the robot provider, like in other industries as well. When the internet came along nobody thought that you could guarantee all these services for businesses to rely on them. But you can get contracts where they guarantee you 99.999% uptime.
You own a gas station. The pump is broken. Customers are angry and drive away. You know how much money you lose every hour. If it is not fixed in x hours, the pump fixing company pays you a penalty, depending on how late they are. You can have insurance for this case on top of that. The company that makes the pumps that break the least wins the market.
Automation is a no brainer. Do you know how hard it is to find good hired help in service industries (from what I have been told by business owners). In the Americas, your employees are often coming to work stoned, drunk, or just not showing up to their dead-end job. In many countries, illegals or legal immigrants from Asia (e.g., in Canada legally and mostly Chinese or Pinoy) are trusted 100X more than the local gentry.
A robot is reliable, has no addiction issues, and is consistent.
There was this place near my home in Gongguan that had 4 owners in the 3 years I lived there. The most recent had a giant robot that did stir fry. I looked in one day and they said it did two dishes, but they had live chefs who did 6 more. None of it looked good. The two the robot did looked like stir-fried rice dishes.They had to program it to cook those dishes, and customers selected the dish from a menu on a computer screen. They told me they were hoping to program it for more. It seemed really inefficient and was probably going for novelty over convenience.