Restaurant works around social distancing rules with robot waiters

At U.K. family restaurant Robotazia, the servers are robots. 

Robotazia describes itself as the first sci-fi, robot-themed restaurant in the country. The restaurant was founded by Mark Swannell, who spent five years making upcycled robots. After Swannell hosted a successful pop-up robot cafe as part of an exhibit, he wanted to expand upon the idea. 

“We did a small exhibit and we had a small cafe and a robot waitress. And from there, the interest there was so great that we thought: well this, we’ve got something going here, let’s expand on this, on the dining experience,” Swannell told the Associated Press. 

Robotazia has 10 human workers and four robot waiters who serve drinks and dishes to guests. 

“I mean, children love it because there’s not many places you can go and get a robot bring the food to your table. And the robot speaks, so they get that interaction,” Swannell said. 

The menu includes barbecue chicken wings, salmon in coconut sauce and slow-cooked beef curry. 

In the wake of the pandemic, venues and restaurants have had to adapt to new social-distancing restrictions. While Robotazia has been able to operate thanks to their non-human workers, the U.K.’s upswing in cases has resulted in more cancellations. 

“Some people are canceling, they’re not feeling very well, they’re being cautious and saying; ‘No, we’re not going to come,'” co-founder Joy Gittens told the Associated Press. “A lot of people still want to go out and enjoy themselves. This is the thing, they’ve been locked up for a long time. People still like to enjoy themselves, go out.”

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