Now here’s a question: How much should you tip a robot?
You might want to give it some thought, because a restaurant in China is staffed almost entirely by them. Mechanical staff greet you at the door, wait your table and even cook your food.
That’s right, the future is here.
In the kitchen, two large blue robots take care of all the frying, while another spends its day making dumplings. The robot waiters, meanwhile, can only move along a fixed path, and will politely ask customers to move if blocked.
This is already the third robot cafe in the world, meaning the time of human-run kitchens might soon be coming to an end. After all, the idea is extremely lucrative. Metro reports that the restaurant’s owner said each robot costs only 40,000 yuan ($6,700), which is the same as a yearly salary for an inferior human employee. Except now the owner doesn’t have to worry about sick days, lunches, holidays or overtime pay.
There are still some little glitches though. The robots are only programmed to say a few words, plus they take a couple of hours to charge for a five-hour shift. Since some of the recipes are complex, a few humans are still needed on staff just to get certain menu items right.
So enjoy the mechanical servitude while it lasts, because it’s only a matter of time before us humans start waiting the tables of our robot overlords.
Er, cheque please.