Robots Replace Waiters at the 'Robot.He' Restaurant in Shanghai

cageymaru

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Robots have completely replaced waiters at a high tech seafood restaurant in Shanghai. 'Robot.He' is owned by Alibaba and features ordering by smartphone. After ordering, it is a simple matter to just wait for your food to arrive by robot. The restaurant manager says, "the efficiency of robot waiters is 9-10 times higher than that of humans but with lower costs." Alibaba and JD.com want to open 1,000 more fully automated restaurants across China by 2020. They even have automated room service planned in the future.

Robots do all the waiting at Alibaba's new 'Robot.He' seafood restaurant in Shanghai, as seen on Wednesday. "All you need is a phone for a meal. You can order and pay via phone, then, just need to wait for you food," said Weng Wei, manager of the creation division. The efficiency of robot waiters is 9-10 times higher than that of humans but with lower costs, he added.
 

Wiffle

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The worst part of this all is, the elimination of soul-crushing entry level work. How are we supposed to educate our youth about terrible jobs and good jobs if there are no more crappy jobs to work?

In the mean time, I am educating myself on how to grow my own food. Its dirt cheap, and I can label it as "organic" and sell it for a ridiculous profit.

Once robots take over the entire workforce, I will change my monikers to "Old fashioned" and "hand-made".
 

NWRMidnight

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At least they won't go on strike and demand $15/hour for unskilled labor.
Unskilled labor? Obviously you have never waited tables.. it takes skill and personality, as well as stamina both physically and emotionally. If you disagree.. go get a job as a waiter/waitress in a busy restaurant, if it takes no skill.. you should do just fine..
 

pendragon1

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id call it unskilled as there is no schooling or long term training involved.
 
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Hooksalot

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Unskilled labor? Obviously you have never waited tables.. it takes skill and personality, as well as stamina both physically and emotionally. If you disagree.. go get a job as a waiter/waitress in a busy restaurant, if it takes no skill.. you should do just fine..
Well I have waited and 3 of my 4 daughters have. Skill is not the word I would use. Attentive, courteous, friendly, and personable, but there is no skill involved unless you count carrying food a skill. And it is not. Even if they can carry 8 plates at a time. I am not saying the work is not hard and we should not tip. I tip 25 plus percent because I know the work is tough, but it takes no skill. You are fooling yourself if you think that.
 

NWRMidnight

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Well I have waited and 3 of my 4 daughters have. Skill is not the word I would use. Attentive, courteous, friendly, and personable, but there is no skill involved unless you count carrying food a skill. And it is not. Even if they can carry 8 plates at a time. I am not saying the work is not hard and we should not tip. I tip 25 plus percent because I know the work is tough, but it takes no skill. You are fooling yourself if you think that.
I have 25 years in the industry, 20 of those as management, with 12 of those 20 being General Manager. I can tell you that you are wrong. Those that don't have the skill may be able to wait on tables, just like I can work on a car. They can get some of the basics down, and may even make a buck or two. But they won't last in the industry, nor will they ever make the money that those that have the skill that is required to do it right.
 
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Oldmodder

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/me humming that old Kraftwerk classic



1978,,,,,, OMG that's why every bone and joint ache in me
 

NWRMidnight

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oh I have, so did my mom for years and my sister and my brother. doesn't take any schooling or long term training. keep assuming...
I am not fooling myself. If your mom waited table for years, ask her if there is skill involved. If she was good at it, she will tell you yes. (BTW, skill isn't just learned in school)
 

pendragon1

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I am not fooling myself. If your mom waited table for years, ask her if there is skill involved. If she was good at it, she will tell you yes.
I did it myself. can you not read?! it doesn't take anything more than listed above.
 

pendragon1

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LOL!! Just because you did it, doesn't mean you had the skills required to be good at it to make it a rewarding, well paid job. If you had the skill, why are you not still doing it?
riiiight… because I prefer tech. are you a server or just arguing for the sake of it? 'cause you dont seem to know shit about either...
 

nutzo

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It's called a living wage so the taxpayers don't have to subsidize corporations by providing food, housing, medical care to their employees.
It's called a starting/training job for high school/college kids, not a job to raise a family on.
(not referring to full service restaurants, but to fast food places)

Full service restaurant waiters do require some skill, but they usually make more money in tips than they do in minimum wage.
 

NWRMidnight

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riiiight… because I prefer tech. are you a server or just arguing for the sake of it? 'cause you dont seem to know shit about either...
Really? I have 25 years in the service industry, with 20 years being in management, 12 being General manager. I think I have the experience to tell you, you have no clue. Yes you did it, yes you got by, but you obviously didn't have the skills needed to be good at it.

let me just put this here:

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/waiter-waitress-skills-2062498

Second, I have owned 2 computer businesses, I have been involved in computer technology for 35+ years, and I am currently working for a multi-million dollar metal manufactures because they offered me a salary package and benefit package I couldn't refuse (plus less stress). As for not knowing anything about either, people may not agree with me, they may think I am wrong, which i their right, but I generally only mention things that I have first hand experience with.
 
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I have 25 years in the industry, 20 of those as management, with 12 of those 20 being General Manager. I can tell you that you are wrong. Those that don't have the skill may be able to wait on tables, just like I can work on a car. They can get some of the basics down, and may even make a buck or two. But they won't last in the industry, nor will they ever make the money that those that have the skill that is required to do it right.
This is where reality gets tough and can seem unfair... Waiting tables and being successful does take skill, but people are successful only after a few weeks of training. I think waiters and especially good ones work very very hard and work for every $ they earn. However the skills that it takes are in a much, much lower and easier to learn category than say, an application architect. People who wait tables are generally considered unskilled(they are put in the unskilled category in labor stats) Someone with a 10 year career as a DBA is worth a lot in the market, while someone with 10 years experience waiting tables... it doesn't quite bring the same level of awe or salary. You will get paid according to what you skills are worth in the cold real world.
 

sfsuphysics

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Took all of 5 posts before we got both "unskilled labor" and "I'm to cheap to tip" posts. Good job guys you're improving.
And the irony of this is that they are often interchanged with each other, the idea of "living wage" which was mentioned is often the rational for why you should tip especially if you live in a backwards state that allows businesses to pay less than minimum wage as long as tips make it minimum wage. And considering this is in China, which traditionally isn't a tipping country,it's not like the robots are taking tips away from workers.

That said this reminds me of one of those sushi places that simply has a conveyor belt with food you pick off.
 

sfsuphysics

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The worst part of this all is, the elimination of soul-crushing entry level work. How are we supposed to educate our youth about terrible jobs and good jobs if there are no more crappy jobs to work?
Doesn't matter because all of these "entry level work" jobs now are being taken by people as long term jobs (won't quite call it a career), which is where the whole brouhaha over "living wage" tends to go ape shit when you're talking about something like working at McDonalds.
 
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Doesn't matter because all of these "entry level work" jobs now are being taken by people as long term jobs (won't quite call it a career), which is where the whole brouhaha over "living wage" tends to go ape shit when you're talking about something like working at McDonalds.
the same people constantly pushing(whining) a living wage are the same ones pushing more globalization... which isn't necessarily a dirty word(and far too late to fight) but is the exact reason you cannot buy a home and support a family with a high school diploma and a manufacturing job anymore.
 

Gweenz

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And the irony of this is that they are often interchanged with each other, the idea of "living wage" which was mentioned is often the rational for why you should tip especially if you live in a backwards state that allows businesses to pay less than minimum wage as long as tips make it minimum wage. And considering this is in China, which traditionally isn't a tipping country,it's not like the robots are taking tips away from workers.

That said this reminds me of one of those sushi places that simply has a conveyor belt with food you pick off.
It's $2.33/hr here. It hasn't changed since *checks notes* 1992.
 

panhead

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It's called a starting/training job for high school/college kids, not a job to raise a family on.
(not referring to full service restaurants, but to fast food places)

Full service restaurant waiters do require some skill, but they usually make more money in tips than they do in minimum wage.
Since most of the jobs that required only a high school education have been shipped overseas, these starting/training jobs are the majority of jobs that are left in this country. 50 years ago, you could pump gas and support a family.


Someone earning the minimum wage in 1963 would have earned $2,460, enough for a family of three but not a family of four, according to the "Social Welfare and the Economy" page on the Social Security Administration's Office of Retirement and Disability Policy website.
https://www.politifact.com/rhode-is...eed-says-minimum-wage-1950s-and-1960s-would-/
 

Maxx

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Maybe I'm crazy, but part of the dining experience is dealing with the service. You can't replicate that human touch.
 
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sfsuphysics

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It's $2.33/hr here. It hasn't changed since *checks notes* 1992.
Lol wut? You live in one of those states where there are different minimum wages eh? And that hasnt changed in 26 years... damn the restaurant lobbying industry is strong in your state. Working so hard to keep wages down
 

funkydmunky

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Me and my robotic sex doll are checking it out this weekend. I've heard they have a strict, you spill it you bought it, policy.
I'll give a review soon.
 

M76

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I'm not impressed. This is basically a glorified food delivery system nothing more. The robots aren't really waiters, they just mobile microwave ovens that transport plates from the kitchen to a table. And the actual client has to take it out and put in on the table. This is about 1 step above a conveyor belt.
 

Laowai

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In general, service is abysmal in China.
I'd take a robot any day of the week over the unskilled and unwashed peasants that pretend to be servers at most places.

When I lived in the States, I always tipped well when the service was fair or better but never liked the practice.
I like it now. I like it a whole fucking lot. I'd love to see tipping in China. Servers in the States are usually awesome compared to the nose-picking villagers who do most of the serving jobs in China.

You don't begin to see adequate service until eating at an absurdly expensive place that caters to expense accounts and foreigners. Food still sucks.

Shanghai is a little different. You can find decent food.
 
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Laowai

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Living wage...


EDIT: IMO, the biggest problem is what people expect from entry-level jobs in much of the 'west'. They expect to be able to live by themselves or even to support a family working one. Why anyone would have that expectation is beyond my comprehension. Those arguing for a 'living wage' likely already have one but instead want a "let me live anywhere I want, eat what I want, enjoy luxuries far beyond imagining 30 years ago, have a short commute, be fiscally irresponsible without repercussions, etc" wage. Our standard of living, even quite often for the poor, is very high. Our expectations, are often higher still.

What I find interesting, but not too surprising (see post above) is the robots are replacing workers in the food service industry in China. Keep in mind, they are paid roughly $200-350 a month and they certainly are putting in more than 40 hours per week. They maybe have one day off each week, some places only give a half a day off per week, I shit you not. Maybe they earn a bit more in Shanghai as it's such an expensive city but sometimes less as they're not uncommonly provided room and board. Think of a dorm room with 4-8 people living in it. Electricity and hot water are usually controlled.

Perhaps they're not exactly being replaced now, but the time will come and it will have more to do with quality and reliability than quick and dirty economics. Now it's more of a novelty thing. This isn't the first place to have robots and I know of at least one place in China who got rid of them and went back to human servers.
 
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katanaD

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I'm not impressed. This is basically a glorified food delivery system nothing more. The robots aren't really waiters, they just mobile microwave ovens that transport plates from the kitchen to a table. And the actual client has to take it out and put in on the table. This is about 1 step above a conveyor belt.

yep. My first thought on seeing that was the boat sushi places.. where sushi is placed on little boats that "flow" around the tables and you pick up want you want. this just seems to be a roomba version of that
 
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