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Fad or future? Waiterless restaurants come to China

( Ecns.cn ) Updated: 2016-02-01 13:39:38

Fad or future? Waiterless restaurants come to China

Liu Zheng, left, CEO of Renrenxiang. [Photo from the restaurant's its official website.]

Liu Zheng, CEO of Renrenxiang, is proud and optimistic about this system as it reflects the popular online-to-offline service trend gripping China currently. It makes his business more efficient and saves him money as he has less wages to fork out for.

"Opening a restaurant has a huge outlay: Rent, decoration, salaries, the list goes on. Thanks to the rise of the app we can cut out unnecessary expenditure, simplify management and focus more on taste and quality," Liu says.

The app also collects customer-related data -- what dish is the most poplar, and what age groups visit more frequently. Renrenxiang uses the data to improve its marketing strategy.

Liu says he plans to further automate the process to achieve the "Four No's" -- no waitstaff, no cashier, no purchaser and no chef.

Renrenxiang is not the first restaurant to offer waiterless service. As early as in 2007, a restaurant in Nuremberg, Germany, began to offer fully automated order and table services. There are also places in Japan and the United States.

Though a waiterless restaurant is still a novelty, automation is already part of many restaurants. More and more now allow customers to make reservations online, order through touch-screens and pay by mobile payment services.

Using robots, instead of humans, to cook, serve and clean has also become more common in China this year.

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