The pros and cons of AI waiters in restaurants

Has everyone seen those AI waiters on TV or even in-person gliding around in restaurants and cafes? They are becoming more and more popular around the world and some of them have now evolved to having a cat-like face. But, are these AI waiters making society better or worse? Here are the pros and cons of AI waiters-but let’s start with the pros.

Faster: These AI waiters and waitresses move faster than the regular human server and can also carry more plates at a time using the built-in shelf on their body making the serving process go a lot faster. Humans can normally only carry 2 plates at a time unless they use some sort of tray but the tray only holds so many plates and bowls as well. The AI server can store up to eight meals on its shelf or more depending on the size of the shelf.

Reduced labor cost: AI waiters are not human therefore, they do not need to be paid! Because of this, the restaurants may not have to spend as much money paying their waiters and as a result, the restaurant owners will be able to spend more money on other aspects of the restaurant such as different ingredients, interior or exterior updates, and of course the restaurant owners become wealthier themselves so they can
go on vacations and buy yachts!

Better customer service: humans are humans, and we all get annoyed sometimes- even waiters! But, the AI waiter never gets annoyed or tired of doing their job because they are programmed to do the same procedure over and over again and they always do it with a smile on their computerized face making for better customer service.

Guests don’t have to give tips: These robots serving up food do not need to get paid for their community service so of course, they do not need to get tips, unlike the human server. Alright, so now you read all of the pros- sounds pretty promising right? So, now let us get into the dark side of AI waiters:

They cannot respond to customer feedback or requests: AI waiters are designed to simply collect orders (which humans give by simply clicking on buttons on the screen attached to the robot) and serve food so they cannot have a proper conversation with humans about how cooked they want the food or other dining requests. Human servers can answer these questions and requests with empathy and understanding the AI waiters cannot do.

Maintenance: Maintaining these robots can be very expensive since they have to either charge or have a battery changed after a certain amount of time. AI waiters should also be cleaned at the end of each day. Plus, if the AI waiter breaks for any reason, then fixing them can cost up to 10,000 dollars, and buying a new one can cost even more than that.

Spills: It turns out, AI waiters are not always perfect and they even spill soups and drinks once in a while due to the reason that they are sometimes bumpy and their balance could be better.

Taking away people’s jobs: Many people work at restaurants as waiters and waitresses so having robots take over the job would mean many unemployed people who have to struggle to look for work elsewhere. Plus, many high school and university students work as food servers during the year to make money for schooling, housing, or even a vehicle but if AIs are working as waiters everywhere students will
unfortunately not have this job opportunity.

So, those are all the pros and cons of AI waiters- what do you think? If you owned a restaurant would you purchase an AI waiter or stick with the human ones? I would stick with the humans I don’t want the robots to take over yet.

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