If you think robots and seafood don’t go together… think again. Robot Captain Crabs Cajun Seafood & Bar has recently opened in Newark, Delaware to quite a bit of fanfare. The restaurant, located on Capitol Trail, is attempting to bring seafood into the 21stst (or 22ndnd) century by way of a few fun robots.
Customers are greeted and led to their table by a robotic hostess. Orders can be placed with a human server or by tablet which will send an alert immediately to the kitchen. When the order is ready, a robot waiter enthusiastically emerges and brings over the food.
After a human server places the meals in front of a customer, the robot chimes in: “Please enjoy your meal,” and then returns to the kitchen. The quirky robots are a favorite of younger customers. Along with flashing lights and rolling around the restaurant, the robots also are in uniform reminiscent of an old-time diner.
“The kids love the robots and most customers are amused by them. They take selfies with it because it’s a really different concept,” said Guang Chen, owner of the restaurant.
Robot Waiters are Imported from China
The cartoonish looking robots are imports from China. Chen was inspired while visiting Asia, where he saw the growing popularity of robots working in restaurants. They’ve been both a novelty and an answer to labor shortages in countries like Japan, China, and Thailand.
The Robot Captain Crabs Cajun Seafood & Bar has five battery-powered bots which cost the restaurant about $20,000 each. $100,000 is a big investment for a new establishment but Chen hopes he can recoup his investment by bringing in customers and getting press in a competitive industry.
The robots seem to be doing their job so far. They’ve got people talking and coming to the restaurant. Obviously, they are a novelty and meant to create a buzz. In the longterm, if the food and service aren’t up to par then people won’t keep coming back no matter how many robots a place has.