Restaurant-goers dining at one Winnipeg establishment will likely see someone — or something — surprising serving them their meals.
As of February, a robot is helping deliver orders from kitchen to table at Korean restaurant Hong Du Kkae on Pembina Highway.
The Keenon Robotics server can carry dishes for at least three or four tables per trip and speak to customers.
“Your delicious meal is here,” a woman’s voice says once it arrives.
Restaurant co-owner Dirk Wang calls the robot “fantastic,” adding that he was enticed by the idea on a recent trip to Vancouver, after seeing how it delighted children and other customers keen on taking pictures.
The automated staff addition makes life easier for the servers, instead of replacing a position entirely, Wang said.
It also limits the amount of person-to-person contact during the pandemic — something diners like Thao To, who want fewer people touching their food, find appealing.
“It’s just smart, cute, convenient,” the international student gushed. “I really like it.”
The robot cost the restaurant $26,000, but it’s an investment Wang calls worthwhile — a price tag they can pay off at $30 per day in less than three years.
— with files from Brittany Greenslade
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