Hyderabad: This restaurant serves you the taste of the future, in more than one way. Robo Kitchen in Jubilee Hills, the city’s first restaurant using robots as waiters, has a team of blue and white robots bringing your meal and drinks to the table. What’s more, the robots also take away the dishes.
The recently opened restaurant in Alcazar Mall is the brainchild of three friends – Prasiddh Sethia, Manikanth Goud and Manikantha Yadav.
“It had always been a goal to do something in the hospitality industry. When I became a distributor of service robots through my other company JD Electronics, I thought why not incorporate them in an eatery?”, says Prasiddh, co-partner, Robo Kitchen. He broached the idea with his friend Manikanth. The duo then visited Chennai where a restaurant was already using such robots. After understanding the nitty-gritty and figuring out the legalities, the duo along with Manikantha Yadav, a business management graduate, decided to take the plunge. And thus was born Robo Kitchen, the third such outlet in the country to use robot waiters.
“The artificial intelligence beauty serving robots are sourced from a Japanese company. Getting them to India was really challenging, as we chose to bring them by air rather than ship. There were a lot of questions from Customs officials who asked us why we wanted to bring them here? But, we managed to get through eventually,” explains Goud, who comes from an IT background. It took them about eight months from planning to execution, which involved setting up a magnetic strip on the floor with sensors to guide the robot’s movements around the restaurant.
Their menu is a mix of Indian, Tandoor, Chinese and Thai, and keeping different sensibilities in mind, the trio has decided to keep the kitchens for preparing vegetarian and non-vegetarian food separate.
“The customers are given a tablet which has the menu. Once they select the dishes, the order is sent to the kitchen which is then collected by the robots programmed to carry it to the right table. If people come in their way, they stop immediately due to the sensors located on the body and the tray they carry. So, there is no risk of spillage,” explains Yadav.
Apart from the four robots, four human waiters are also present, in case patrons don’t want to serve themselves.
“The robots can work the entire day after three hours of charging. We maintain them well, so far we haven’t faced any issues in their functioning,” adds Prasiddh.
The staff in the eatery has also been trained to operate the robots. In case of any issues, the trio is in constant touch with the makers of the robots and video-call them to fix any niggling issues. While the cost of each robot is around Rs 5 lakh, the trio hopes to get the more sophisticated interactive robots by the end of the year depending on the overall response.