Chefs safe from robots
Los Angeles – 5 September 2017 –
What are the chances of robots taking over from chefs, as is happening with machines serving customers in bars? Not much, according to a report by Agence France-Presse.
It says Monsieur and Tended Bar are two brands among a new wave of machines that can whip up cocktails at sports arenas, hotels and other venues for a fraction of the cost of a human server,
But while the bionic barman is already a reality, the robotic cordon bleu chef remains a distant dream, says Richard Korf, a professor at UCLA.
“You can automate what a barman does – there’s a limited number of ingredients – but it might not work for a chef who uses a lot of ingredients, different skills, different tools, cutting slicing, whipping, mixing,” he argues. “That would be a huge challenge.
“The other question is: would you want that? A lot of the experience of going to bar is talking to the bartender. They are often attractive and talk to customers, you can tell them your problems et cetera.”
The ideal places for automated bartenders, he maintains, would be venues where the goal is not social interaction, such as concert halls.
“There will be situations where using these robots will increase the quality of service, in a busy, noisy environment, for example,” agrees Pamela Rutledge, an expert in media psychology.
But she adds that being recognised and acknowledged by the staff, especially at the local neighborhood bar, “creates a kind of social connection, it makes you feel like you belong.”