The full name of this restaurant in Chinese is Haohai Robot Restaurant 昊海机器人主题餐厅 and it’s located just off main pedestrian street Zhongyang Dajie 中央大街. They specialize in Sichuan cuisine but the dishes we tried weren’t especially good or memorable and they took a while to come out. Prices averaged around 40-50rmb per dish. We went for lunch on a weekday and the place was packed with mostly locals and their children running around playing with the robots and snapping photos. There were maybe one or two tourists.
The procedure was as follows:
1. Get seated (by a human) - chairs and tables can’t be moved as they’re set up around tracks that the robots use.
2. Write down food order from the Chinese-only menu and go up to the front counter and pay (there are food pictures on the wall near the counter for the truly confused).
3. Wait for the robots to deliver the food.
Supposedly there are special dishes that the robots cooked, but staff weren’t especially keen on people peering into the kitchen, despite there being windows with robots looking out. As far as I could tell, humans cooked the food and sent them out on platters that the robots would carry to the tables. If you recognized your order, you could serve yourself, if not, a human would come over after about a minute and check to see which table the order was for. The robots then went on their way.
It was fun and novel to see how the robots worked, but as the food wasn’t really that good, not sure how much repeat business they would have.
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