每日英語跟讀 Ep.K559: Robot waiters: The future of the restaurant industry?
A recent trend in the restaurant industry has been the introduction of waist-high robots that can greet guests, lead them to their tables, serve food and drinks, and transport dirty dishes back to the kitchen. Despite skepticism from some industry insiders, many restaurateurs believe that robots are the solution to the industry's labor shortages, and sales have been growing rapidly in recent years. For instance, Redwood City-based Bear Robotics expects to have 10,000 of its Servi robots deployed by the end of the year in the US and overseas. Similarly, Shenzhen-based Pudu Robotics has already deployed more than 56,000 robots globally.
近年來，餐飲業的一個趨勢是引進及腰高度的機器人，這些機器人可以迎接客人，帶他們到餐桌，上菜和飲料，並將髒盤子運回廚房。儘管一些業內人士持懷疑態度，但許多餐飲業者認為，近年來銷售額快速增長，機器人是該行業勞動力短缺的解決方案。例如，位於紅木城的Bear Robotics預計在今年年底在美國和海外部署其Servi機器人達10,000台。無獨有偶的，總部位於深圳的Pudu Robotics已在全球部署了超過56,000台機器人。
According to Phil Zheng of Austin-based Richtech Robotics, "Every restaurant chain is looking towards as much automation as possible. People are going to see these everywhere in the next year or two." While some industry insiders believe that robots are just a gimmick and still have a long way to go before they can replace humans, many others agree that they ease the workload for human staff and make service more efficient.
位於奧斯汀Richtech Robotics的Phil Zheng表示：“每間餐廳都朝盡可能自動化發展。在未來一到兩年，這些機器人將隨處可見。”儘管一些業內人士認為機器人只是噱頭，還有很長的路要走才能取代人類，但許多人認為，它們能減輕人類工作量，使服務更加高效。
In addition to easing labor shortages, robots have other advantages for restaurants. For example, they can give human servers more time to mingle with customers, increasing tips. Moreover, customers often post videos of the robots on social media, which entices others to visit. However, interactions with human servers can vary. Some servers find that the robots are a plus as they save time and give them more opportunities to engage with customers, while others find that they can be a pain.
Pandemic-era concerns about hygiene and the adoption of new technology like QR code menus have laid the groundwork for robots in the restaurant industry. The public acceptance of robot servers is already high in Asia, where Pizza Hut has robot servers in 1,000 restaurants in China, for example. Although the US has been slower to adopt robots, some chains like Chick-fil-A are now testing them. According to the chain, the robots give human employees more time to refresh drinks, clear tables, and greet guests.
疫情時代對衛生的關注以及採用新技術如QR code菜單為餐廳業打造引入機器人的基礎。例如，必勝客在中國的1,000家餐廳中已經有機器服務生，亞洲社會對機器服務生的接受度已經很高。雖然美國在引入機器人方面較慢，但一些連鎖店如 Chick-fil-A 現在正在測試。該連鎖店表示，機器人能給予人類員工更多的時間來準備飲料，清理餐桌和迎接客人。
Overall, robots have become a viable solution for restaurants grappling with labor shortages. In addition, robots can make service more efficient and give human servers more time to engage with customers. Whether or not robot waiters are the future of the restaurant industry remains to be seen, but it is clear that they are becoming more prevalent and may soon be a common sight in restaurants.
總體而言，機器人已成為餐廳應對勞動力短缺的可行解決方案。此外，機器人可以使服務更加高效，讓人類服務員有更多時間與客戶互動。無論機器人服務員是否是餐飲行業的未來，都有待觀察，但很明顯它們正在變得越來越普遍，可能很快就會成為餐廳中常見的景象。Reference article: https://apnews.com/article/robots-waiters-restaurants-84336d32667219776d4d0942c28caa46