In Tokyo’s Zeroken Robo Tavern at Ikebukuro train station drinks for the customers are made by a robot.
Restaurant operator Yoronotaki, which runs a chain of izakaya venues around the country, is behind the robot bartender venture.
After paying for drinks at an automated kiosk customers present a QR-coded receipt to the robot bartender who (which?) scans the code and makes the ordered drink.
It takes robobartender around 40 seconds to pour a robo-pint and just under a minute to prepare a robo-cocktail.
Built-in tv-scanners assess the customer’s facial expressions and subsequent level of happiness with the resultant drink.
Just like here, bar staff are in extremely short supply in Japan. But in Japan this is due to the country’s ageing population, with the hospitality industry being particularly hard-hit.
And just like here, the Japanese government has also eased visa restrictions to attract more foreign workers.
Some customers actually prefer to be served by the robobartender as “dealing with people can be a hassle,” said one, “With this you can just come and get drunk. If they could make it a little quicker it would be even better”.
The Zeroken Robo Tavern trialled the robobartender for a couple of months before Yoronotaki began assessing the results to see where this might be going. Then along came Coronavirus to give it other concerns to think about….