By Tyler Wright
Most visitors to Olinda Tea House & Restaurant’s modern fusion dining experience appreciate the robotic waiter introduced about six months ago.
Restaurant owner Tony Qian said the robot increased efficiency as there was a shortage of hospitality staff in the Dandenong Ranges.
“On the cost-effective side, it’s much cheaper,” Qian said.
“A human being can only take one dish or maybe two [from the kitchen to a table],” he said.
“But the robot can take four or eight at the same time.”
It comes as restaurants in Victoria employ robots to tackle pandemic-induced staffing shortages, including the Dodee Paidang Thai Bar and Cafe in Melbourne’s central business district.
The stability of workers in the hospitality industry has been precarious, with a recent $6.7 million initiative funded by the Government of Victoria dedicated to hospitality training for job seekers to fill labor shortages. ‘work.
“When customers are asked ‘do you like being served by the robot?’ there are 99% who say yes and 1% who are “maybe not”, Qian said.
But there are those who are hesitant about the new technology, needing a little nudge to get involved.
“Once they see the robot serving other tables, the rest of the people say ‘oh, let’s do the robot’.”
The staff member has multiple functions and Mr Qian said he can be used for celebrations at Olinda Tea House.
“Normally what we do is connect the Bluetooth to the speaker and play the birthday song,” he said.
“Now just click a button on the robot and the robot can take on any task.”
Mr. Qian would like to see this technology used by other companies, but he has been too busy to spread the word.
“I would like to introduce this to other companies,” Mr. Qian said.
“We also sell it.”