A lot of new restaurants popping up these days are claiming to be “robot restaurants”. Usually, the place features a few robots as waiters or cooks with humans still doing the bulk of the work. One new place in China is claiming to be the country’s first fully automated restaurant where artificial intelligence handles every task.
At the new Foodom restaurant in Guangzhou, robots do absolutely everything. They great customers, take orders, cook, make drinks, deliver the meal and even clean up afterward. Foodom is owned by the Qianxi Robotic Catering Group, a unit under Chinese real estate giant Country Garden Holdings. The company claims that there are 46 different types of robots working at the automated restaurant.
Foodom Robots Trained by Human Chefs
Foodom mainly serves Guangdong Shunde cuisine. The robots were “trained” by 11 human chefs. The humans made sure their robot apprentices knew things like proper temperature, flavor, amount of ingredients and cooking time, All of this data was entered into a computer for the robots to absorb. The robot cooks were accurately able to remember the skills they were taught and managed to autonomously prepare the authentic dishes of the Shunde cuisine.
Customers can watch the robots make their food in the kitchen via transparent glass walls. Payments are taken using a technology Country Garden developed independently.
Robot Restaurant Food Gets High Marks
Foodom officially opened on Jan 12 at the Mall of the World Plaza in Zhujiang, New Town. So far the food has gotten high marks from customers.
“The robot chefs can actually compete with famous chefs from Shunde, which is known for its delicious dishes at home and abroad,” said a diner named Chen.
There are other “robot restaurants” in China but the bots working there are mainly focused on customer experience. At Foodom, robots also do things like receive deliveries, store produce, and select ingredients.
Country Garden Has 750 Person R&D Team
Country Garden founded the Qianxi Robotic Catering Group subsidiary in May 2019 with a 750 person research and development team. The team has created systems using 70 different robots for five restaurant styles: Chinese cuisine, hot pot, fast food, clay-pot rice, and noodle shops.
“This system continues to improve, continuously developing new dishes and meeting the new needs of customers. A restaurant with advanced robotic technology can alleviate the “labor shortage” problem facing the industry. Management and control greatly improve the efficiency of staff management and further reduce employment costs.” said Qiu Mi, assistant president of Country Garden Group.