Are robot waiters the future? A restaurant in Kuwait thinks so

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. tray / treɪ / (n.) – a thin flat container that is used for carrying things, usually food and drinks

    The waiter brought the tray to our table and served our food.

  2. android / ˈæn drɔɪd / (n.) – a robot designed to look like a human being

    At first look, you would think that this android is a real person. It has realistic facial expressions and movements.

  3. administrator / ædˈmɪn əˌstreɪ tər / (n.) – a person who manages a business, school, or other organizations

    The university administrator helps students apply for financial aid.

  4. employee / ɛmˈplɔɪ i / (n.) – a person who works for another person or company and receives money for his/her work

    The new company started hiring employees to prepare for its big opening.

  5. accelerate / ækˈsɛl əˌreɪt / (v.) – to make something, such as a process, growth, or activity, happen faster or sooner

    The new business strategy will accelerate the sales growth of the company.


Read the text below.

Are robot waiters the future? It’s a question the restaurant industry is increasingly trying to answer.

Many people think robot waiters are the solution to the industry’s labor shortages. Sales of them have been growing rapidly in recent years, with tens of thousands now gliding through dining rooms worldwide.

Waiters in this restaurant in Kuwait have a new assistant, a robot called CAN. CAN can’t take orders or even place a tray on the table, but the waiter robot can carry it across the room to the correct destination. A waiter then places the tray of food on the table for customers.

Diner Jukerya Serja Milli is enjoying a meal with his family which was partly served by the android. He says that machines will play an ever-increasing role in the service industry.

Currently, the waiter takes the order and programs the robot to deliver it to the correct table. Human waiter Jessy Nomess thinks his job is safe for now, as the robot simply carries trays across the restaurant from the kitchen.

The restaurant’s administrators say the robot is the first of its kind in Kuwait.

“Today, science is developing towards such things. Today, even surgical operations are conducted by robots. So, maybe one day the robot will replace the employees more but for sure the customer needs an employee to communicate with and to talk to. The robot will have a good performance on location, will help the employees, will accelerate the movement of the business, but I do not expect it to fully replace the employees. But we recommend the increase in the number of the robots in the location. We have no problem with this,” says Ahmed Sherriff, the restaurant manager.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Do you think robots will become a big part of the restaurant industry in the future? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • What specific tasks would you like robots to perform for you (ex. babysitting, household chores)? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Do you think the integration of robots in service industries would threaten human employment? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • With the rise of androids, how do you think the government can make sure that people don’t lose their jobs (ex. put a limit to the use of androids in businesses, give incentives to businesses that retain human workers)? Discuss.