The international chain Cali Burger, for example, will soon install Flippy, a robot that can flip 150 burgers an hour.
The companies bringing robots into the service sector are betting that we’ll be happy to trade our relationship with the chipper barista or knowledgeable front-desk clerk for greater efficiency.
I wondered whether the problem wasn’t that Eatsa had crossed the fine line separating efficiency from something out of Blade Runner.
Less dystopian was the scene at Zume Pizza, in Mountain View, California, where I watched an assembly line of robots spread sauce on dough and lift pies into the oven.
Initially, two greeters were stationed alongside the cubbies to welcome and direct customers.
But over time, customers relied less frequently on the greeters, co-founder and CEO Tim Young told me, and the company now employs a single greeter in its restaurants.
“It takes about a year to two years to get your money back,” he said.