New York restaurant uses robot with cat ears to serve food and attract crowds

Hello, robot-kitty!

A cat-eared robot will deploy food orders at a Japanese restaurant in the Big Apple, the latest step in a charm offensive by restaurateurs trying to automate the dining experience, Side Dish has learned.

The waiter on wheels is called BellaBot: a waist-high, feline-faced machine that can deliver food and drinks and transport dirty dishes.

The robots, which cost between $12,000 and $15,000, have been deployed in restaurants from Florida to Michigan.

Garry Kanfer, director of Kissaki Hospitality Group, decided to resort to this expensive trick as an entertainment attraction at his soon-to-open Kamasu outpost in FiDi.

“I’ve seen them and read about them. This will be a test,” Kanfer told Side Dish.

What BellaBot can’t do is take orders or interact with customers, thereby preserving job security at its 2,500-square-foot restaurant at 111 John St., which will open next month.

The restaurant will have 70 seats and will offer open temaki buns with an a la carte menu of maki, special futomaki and donburi.

“You still need the server to be there and place the food on people’s tables,” said Kanfer, whose other Kamasu locations are at The Shops & Restaurants in Hudson Yards and Time Out Market in Dumbo.

Job security will still be maintained at the 2,500-square-foot Kamasu restaurant at 111 John St.

This is not the first time Kanfer has added robots to its restaurants.

At Kissaki, a fine-dining concept he launched during the pandemic, and his other Kamasu locations, Kanfer uses about four sushi robots to prepare rice for sushi rolls.

“I had a lot of rejections. Even our management was concerned,” said Kanfer, whose Kissaki outposts are located in Hamptons and Manhasset, Long Island.


“But robots are a good option for quick leisure, and humans are still there to interact with customers.”

The addition of robotic helpers boomed during the pandemic as the lack of human contact became desirable.

Brooklyn Dumpling Shop, for example, used a heated locker reminiscent of old-school automats for contactless pickup.

“You still need to have the server be there and put the food on people’s tables,” said Garry Kanfer, whose other Kamasu locations are at The Shops & Restaurants in Hudson Yards and Time Out Market in Dumbo.

The threat of robots eliminating jobs has become a growing concern in the restaurant industry, said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance.

“Service staff are already being eliminated by touch screens when it comes to ordering,” Rigie said. “We will continue to see robotic dim sum carts and robots mixing cocktails in Las Vegas, but restaurants are a labor-intensive business and the focus is on service and hospitality. “No robot will ever replace that.”

Actor Modi (left) joins restaurateurs Cobi Levy (center) and Jason Pomeranc to raise money for the United Hatzalah Emergency Relief Fund at Al Coro on November 1.
Abbie Sofia)

We hear…that friends and rivals in the hospitality industry gathered on Nov. 1 to raise $1.1 million for the United Hatzalah Emergency Relief Fund in Al Coro. Around 600 people attended the event organized by Noath Tepperberg of Tao Group Hospitality, Jason Pomeranc of Sixty Hotels and Cobi Levy of Prince Street Hospitality. Actor and comedian Modi was the MC, while Sam Ronson and Jesse Marco were the DJs. Israeli actor and “Fauda” co-star Lior Raz and “Stranger Things’” Brett Gelman contributed to the singing of the Israeli and American national anthems. “It was all pretty spontaneous,” Tepperburg said. “We all had friends and family who were affected. “It struck a chord and I felt it was right to do something quickly and immediately.” The fundraiser was also a way to bring together an affected community, Pomeranc added. “The hospitality industry does a lot to entertain and energize New York City, creating an eclectic culture with people from different backgrounds. That’s what makes New York great,” Pomeranc said. Restaurateurs raised another million dollars at a similar event held at Lavo in Los Angeles on November 20.

We hear…that Citymeals on Wheels raised $1.5 million at its 36th Annual Power Luncheon at the Plaza Hotel with Chef Daniel Boulud, Kathleen Turner, Deborah Roberts, Barbara Bush and Christian Siriano. That’s enough to deliver more than 150,000 meals to older New Yorkers in need, said Beth Shapiro, CEO of Citymeals.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button