Restaurant automation

" 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!

Great quote:

“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.”

TT article.

With the demographic changes looming, automation in the service, f&b industries will come sooner or later. Fast food restaurants have already implemented a lot of automation.

Still need people!

Now McDonald’s replaces cashiers with touchscreens even in smaller towns in Taiwan.
For me it is easier, now I can use English menu. :upside_down_face:

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.

Quick fix!

Or so the contract states!

You are a logistics company. What do you do when your truck breaks down?
You are a taxi company. What do you do when your car breaks down?

All these problems have been solved before.

Yeah, but I don’t think I want to wait for my food until an engineer comes to fix the glitch. You always need back-up, people.

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.

This is really not a new concept.

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.

Until it breaks down.

When was the last time your car broke down?

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.

No idea, 15 years ago? I don’t own a car. My scooter, now and then and it’s very inconvenient.

There will be service intervals, checkups, upgrades, etc just like with cars. Robot development is currently at this stage:


Who needs that anyway, horses are more reliable right? A lot of brains and capital will be deployed on a global scale to make robots worthwhile for restaurant owners. I trust the capitalist process.

Wait until you ask the robot to substitute something in your dish! Error! Unknown!

Magic Touch Sushi, Hamasushi, order on iPad, food comes along to you on a belt to your table. No need to talk to anyone except to say thank you when paying.

Cheaper than labour costs in Europe where even hiring entry level is hugely expensive (with all the costs of maintaining the social safety net system).

Who selects the fish, cuts it, prepares the nigiri, sushi?