Restaurant workers have been quitting in droves. Low pay, long hours, fear of catching COVID and above all, rude customers have all been cited as reasons why.
"Hey Joe, have you ever seen a customer wear a martini? Stay tuned!"
It would be far better if customers who lost their manners during the pandemic could abuse robot servers instead. So Bear Robotics, a company consisting of both restaurant experts and tech entrepreneurs, has developed just that. Servi is a "fully autonomous, high-capacity helping hand for running food, serving drinks, and bussing tables."
"So far, Servi has come on the restaurant scene in LA, making a huge splash in restaurants like Colony Cooks, Tenraku Sushi, La Costa Glen, Denny's locations across the country, and Chili's with their own signature #RitaTheRobot version of our flagship solution."
To be clear, Servi doesn't actually have any arms, so it still needs to be loaded in the kitchen by the cook or an assistant, and unloaded at the table by the unruly customer (or an actual human being). Ditto for bussing; Servi can haul the dishes back to the kitchen, but it can't load or unload itself.
Still, the robot can absorb an unlimited amount of verbal abuse, slurs, insults and angry admonitions, and does not need to be tipped. That might make even the angriest customer willing to transfer a plate of potato skins from the tray to their table.
Additionally, restaurants can lease a Servi for "just $33/day," the company writes. "No sign-on bonus, no more staffing shortages." And, of course, the 'bot can't catch COVID.