(Yicai Global) Nov. 12 -- Chinese hot pot restaurant operator Haidilao has teamed up with Panasonic to bring in robots for preparing food for its new location in Beijing.
The Sichuan-based chain aims to boost operational efficiency while dealing with high labor costs through the introduction of the catering automation system, state-linked online news agency Huanqiu reported, adding that it could be rolled out at other restaurants if everything goes smoothly.
Under the system, robot arms in the kitchen will automatically get to work on preparing vegetables and meat once customers make their orders via menu tablets. The bots line up the dishes on trays which are delivered to tables through automated guided vehicles assisted by a human waiter.
Company Chairman Zhang Yong hailed the introduction of the technology as a defining moment in tackling inefficiency. Haidilao served over 100 million diners last year at its 360 chain restaurants mainly located in China and Japan. The company set up a joint venture with Panasonic in March to develop the automation system.