Planet China

Robotic service

Robotic service

Serving staff at restaurants often seem to go through the motions, only bothering to show a little spark once the meal nears its conclusion and the potential tip is in the offing.

But at a restaurant in Harbin the service is robotic by design. According to the 21CN Business Herald, the Robot Restaurant is also proving a hit with diners. The newspaper says that the novelty is a factor – after all, who wouldn’t be happy with the greeting: “Hello, earthmen. Welcome to our robot restaurant”. While you wait, there is entertainment from a robot that jigs and sings, and more intriguingly, the restaurant even claims that the chef is a robot specialising in dumplings and pasta. Although the locally-made robots cost as much as $47,000 each, their owner says that they are cheaper to employ over the long run than humans, once rising annual salaries, health insurance and paid vacations are factored in.

Forget foul-mouthed and showman chefs: if you want to see the future of dining, perhaps you should go to Harbin…

© ChinTell Ltd. All rights reserved.

Sponsored by HSBC.

The Week in China website and the weekly magazine publications are owned and maintained by ChinTell Limited, Hong Kong. Neither HSBC nor any member of the HSBC group of companies ("HSBC") endorses the contents and/or is involved in selecting, creating or editing the contents of the Week in China website or the Week in China magazine. The views expressed in these publications are solely the views of ChinTell Limited and do not necessarily reflect the views or investment ideas of HSBC. No responsibility will therefore be assumed by HSBC for the contents of these publications or for the errors or omissions therein.