Last week we wrote a post on how robots may take over the restaurant industry. In some good news for our flesh & blood server friends, that day may be far off. Restaurants in China are "firing" their robot staff due to poor performance.
Two restaurants in China which used robotic waiters have closed down and a third remains open but has canned their robotic staff. Robots have been a bit of a rage over in China, doing everything from cooking to cleaning to serving meals. Fortunately for human servers, robots are trash when it comes to interacting with guests.
And, while robots may not ask for a raise or paid sick leave, they do breakdown... a lot.
"The robots weren't able to carry soup or other food steady and they would frequently break down. The boss has decided never to use them again," said one employee in the Guangzhou restaurant.
According to Shanghaiist, it costs 50,000 yuan (that's $7,700 US, according to Google's currency calculator) to "hire" a robot worker (see also: buying a robot) and then several hundred yuan each month (so, roughly $100/month) to cover electricity and repairs.
In fact, the best thing about robot labor at the moment is that it gets extra mouths in the door for ordering. "The robots can attract plenty of customers, but they definitely can't reduce the need for human labor," one of the restaurant managers said.
So if anyone was worried that the great robo-uprising was on the horizon or that managers would need to go back to school for a robotics degree, you can sleep soundly. You're jobs are safe... for now.