Social distancing: Dutch restaurant places robots to dish out drinks!

At the Dadawan restaurant in the southern Dutch city of Maastricht, an unusual group of new staffers has been brought in to help after the Netherlands eased its coronavirus lockdown this week: robots.

The trio

A robotic trio of waiters named Amy, Aker and James roll back and forth from the bar at the Asian fusion restaurant, handing out drinks -- and lessening the number of trips that human staff need to make through the restaurant.

(Photograph:Reuters)

A face with a smile!

Each robot has a simple humanoid figure, including arms to hold serving trays. Simple displays on their faces shows a smile, or occasionally a frown.

The service can be a bit stiff.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Customers must pick up their drinks

"Hi, here is your order. Please take it away from the tray. I will go back automatically in 20 seconds", Amy informs a pair of women seated at a booth, after presenting them with two glasses of ice tea.

Customers must pick up their own drinks.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Limited to drink delivery

Though robotic servers were introduced in China several years ago and have since become a novelty at restaurants around the world, only a handful of Dutch eateries have so far introduced them.

For now, Dadawan's robo-service is limited to drink delivery, but the owner hopes to quickly widen their repertoire.

(Photograph:Reuters)

'Happy with the robots'

Restaurant representative Paul Seijben said waiters' jobs are not threatened by the newcomers.

"Our team is actually really happy with the robots", Seijben said.

Staff, who wear face masks, load drinks onto the trays, press a table number, then stand back as the robot rolls away.

(Photograph:Reuters)

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