The Dallas-based restaurant La Duni has found a clever way to add help to their staffing. In an effort to combat a lack of help, the Latin cafe is using three robots to help run food to customers and to seat customers in their restaurant.
La Duni co-owner Taco Borga starting using the robots when the restaurant was unable to secure human workers. While some locals have questioned Borga’s methods of hiring robots that take the jobs of regular employees, Borga shared that their help wanted ads were unsuccessful. No-one showed up looking to secure employment. Rather than close his Latin themed location, Borga employed the help of robots Alexcita, Panchita and Coqueta.
The trio are equipped with serving trays to run food to tables and even have cartoon faces. They are capable of having human interactions with customers as well. The robots are able to make small talk and sing happy birthday when needed. Diners at La Duni have come to love the robots, according to the co-owner of La Duni.
Borga also shared that the robots are saving him money compared to hiring human help to staff his restaurant. The cost of each robot is roughly $8-$10 a day. To employ human servers and hostesses, Borga pays a minimum of $10 an hour.
The robots do require some human assistance. When the robots bring food on trays to tables, human employees must accompany them to take the food off of the tray and disburse it to patrons. According to Borga, patrons still tip with robots able to work faster than human servers. Borga also plans to add additional robots to his staff to help with delivery services.
The robots rented by Borga come from American Robotech, a company based in Texas. The company has increased their business with supplying more than two dozen robots to businesses in Texas since the start of the year. Most of the robots are being used to help restaurants who are also facing labor shortages.