In a bid to minimize person-to-person interaction during the COVID-19 pandemic, a burger joint in South Korea is replacing human staffers with robot servers.
Robo-waiters: Fast-food chain No Brand Burger has been using robots to handle taking orders, meal preparation and serving customers in its day-to-day operations, Associated Press
- Customers use a touchscreen to place their order and pay.
- After the order is forwarded to the kitchen, a cooking machine starts preparing the food, heating up burger patties and buns.
- Human workers then add toppings and wrap up the meal to be presented to the customer.
- A robot server then brings the takeout bag to the customers once ready.
- Takeout orders at the chain account to over half of its total sales this month as restaurants could only provide takeout and delivery after 9 p.m. in South Korea following a second wave of coronavirus infections recently. The restriction was lifted earlier this week.
A growing trend: Other establishments in Asia have also started the use of robots to supplement human workers in recent months.
- In Japan, a shelf-stacking robot piloted by a human is being used in grocery stores, NextShark previously reported.
- FamilyMart and Lawson, two of the largest convenience store operators in Japan, are the first to deploy Model-T, a kangaroo-like robot created by Japanese startup Telexistence.
- Meanwhile, an Italian restaurant chain in South Korea has started using robot servers for its dine-in customers.
- Known as Aglio Kim, the robo-waiter uses high-tech cameras and sensors to navigate between tables inside the restaurant Mad for Garlic.
- The restaurant reportedly used the smart robot to put diners at ease while eating out during the pandemic, according to Inside Edition CBS.
- “Customers found the robot serving quite unique and interesting, and also felt safe from the coronavirus,” Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho was quoted as saying.