The first robot employee in a Wilmington restaurant

The first robot employee in a Wilmington restaurant
Published: Dec. 12, 2022 at 12:43 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - We’ve seen robots used in medical procedures, packing and assembly lines and now in restaurants. aRtisano Pizza & Gelato in Wilmington brought on a new staff member named Chris, which is a robot.

Chris is created by a former engineer for Google, who created a company called Bear Robotics which is based out of California.

Nigel Langstone, the owner of aRtisano, saw how robots could be used while attending a trade show in Florida. After dealing with staffing shortages Langstone looked into buying a robot.

Chris can bus tables, deliver orders, help with hosting, sing to the customers and help make the staff’s jobs easier.

Job openings and labor turnover are at their highest point at over 10,000 openings across America, whereas it was 6,000 back in 2020. The restaurant industry is still recovering from COVID-19 and can take anywhere from 2023 to 2025 to fully recover. That’s why some restaurants are switching to robots to fill in the holes.

Though people are afraid of robots taking over our jobs and soon firing human employees, but that is not the case here. Langstone wants to clarify that Chris is not coming for anyone’s job, he is trying to ease the stress on his restaurant employees.

Langstone has also noticed that most employees are younger and are looking for pocket money rather than a profession, making the need for a robot even greater. Over the past year, they have been through eight managers and countless employees because people come and go quickly in the restaurant business.

Chris is NSF certified by the Health Department to work in restaurants and is the first robot to work in a Wilmington restaurant.

“Chris is an outstanding employee because he’s never late, never complains and looks as smart as a computer,” said Langstone.