Fad or future? Waiterless restaurants come to China
Updated: 2016-02-01 13:39
CNN's anchor person shows the noodles he ordered.
Renrenxiang's noodle promotion photo on its official website.
No one can deny the change that technology has had on people's lives, and it was only really a matter of time before automation really took off in the restaurant industry.
"The catering industry involves lots of human activity but that doesn't mean restaurants must have waitstaff. The core of the industry is service and most of this can actually be done by machines and programmed systems. Reducing the roles of waiters and cashiers is not the same as reducing the standard of service, instead it means quicker service and reduced costs," says Jiang Xiaoyu, an employee at Renrenxiang.
There are, however, those who are loath to lose the "traditional" style of dining and are steadfast in their belief that it cannot be replaced.
"Waiterless service works well for fast food, as the food prep is standardized and it's relatively easy to make the switch to automation. In finer restaurants, however, the cooking process is complicated and the role of waiters is more than just serving food," says Wang Jianhao, the owner of Xiexilan, a Sri Lankan restaurant in Beijing's bustling Sanlitun area.
"The catering industry is very diverse -- just like the needs of many customers, so various types of service need to be available," Wang says.
"Dining at a restaurant isn't just about eating," says a new customer surnamed Zhang at Renrenxiang. "The overall ambiance, the joy of browsing the menu and selecting dishes, and the satisfaction of being well served are also important. Technology does make life a lot more convenient, but it can't replace human interaction."
- Students must learn safety education, experts say
- 73 bodies recovered from rubble of Shenzhen landslide
- Chinese travelers lead 2015 global outbound tourism
- S Korea to issue 10-year visa to highly-educated Chinese tourists
- A glimpse of Spring Rush: little migrant birds on the way home
- Policy puts focus on genuine artistic students
- Negotiating political transition in Syria 'possible': Hollande
- At least three killed in light plane crashes in Australia
- BOJ further eases monetary policy, delays inflation target
- DPRK may have tested components of hydrogen bomb
- Goodwill sets tone at Wang, Kerry's briefing
- Obama picks new Afghan commander
- Year of the Monkey arriving in Washington
- Djokovic puts down Federer fightback to reach final
- Treasures from Romania shine in Beijing museum
- First container train links China to Middle East
- 'Monkey King' performs dragon dance in underwater tunnel in Tianjin
- The odd but interesting life of a panda breeder
- Top 10 best selling cars on Chinese mainland 2015
- Warm memories in the cold winter
8 highlights about V-day Parade
Glimpses of Tibet: Plateaus, people and faith
Chinese entrepreneurs remain optimistic despite economic downfall
50th anniversary of Tibet autonomous region
Tianjin explosions: Deaths, destruction and bravery
Cinemas enjoy strong first half
Today's Top News
National Art Museum showing 400 puppets in new exhibition
Finest Chinese porcelains expected to fetch over $28 million
Monkey portraits by Chinese ink painting masters
Beijing's movie fans in for new experience
Obama to deliver final State of the Union speech
Shooting rampage at US social services agency leaves 14 dead
Chinese bargain hunters are changing the retail game
Chinese president arrives in Turkey for G20 summit
Geared to go
The place to be