VICTOR, NY (AP) — Diners at a Rochester-area restaurant are beginning to watch the future roll up to their table.
Victor’s Distillery restaurant has been using a robot server for about a month, part of a recent national trend. Nicknamed Lily for now, he can carry heavy trays and dishes, tell customers about specials, and even sing “Happy Birthday” to them.
“I think it’s hysterical,” Mary Loverdi told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle as she recorded the robot with her phone as it delivered its meal. “We are in the future now.”
Restaurants across the country have started using the machines to help ease staff shortages since the COVID-19 pandemic began. As shortages eased recently, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that there were 140,788 fewer hospitality workers in New York State in November than in February 2020, the report reported. newspaper.
Distillery operators tell the newspaper that they are currently full, but the robot is helping to take the physical strain off servers and allowing them to spend more time in the dining room.
Once it’s loaded with plates of food by the kitchen staff, the table number is entered on a touchscreen that doubles as the robot’s face, and a GPS guides it to a table. If it encounters an obstruction, it is programmed to make a face and ask, “please let me through”.
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