By Laura Gentile
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bella has only been working since August the red eaglean Asian restaurant in Rennes (Ille-et-Vilaine). However, she quickly found her place there and is now an integral part of the team. Except that Bella is not human, but a robot.
A real asset
Kevin is the room manager and the son of the managers. Here it is now more than ten years his family took over the restaurant. It was only recently that they decided to invest in Bella. “We had seen that it existed in large restaurants, we found it interesting but nothing more at the beginning”, explains the young man of 21 years.
We ran out of staff and it’s hard to hire today, so we thought why not!
Bella has been going back and forth in the restaurant with efficiency ever since.
The robot is particularly useful in case of heavy traffic. “When there are a lot of customers, we manage to use it to streamline orders,” notes the manager, who ensures win time on orders. “Otherwise, when there aren’t many people, it’s mainly to amuse the gallery”.
However, the Red Eagle has no intention of buying a second one. “Our room is not big enough, it takes up space and it would make circulation difficult.”
But how does it work ?
Created by the Chinese start-up Pudu, the robot is equipped with sensors that allow him to identify obstacles and recognize tables. All Kevin needs to do is put the drinks on Bella’s trays, press the table number having placed the order and Bella is going to serve the customers.
The robot, thanks to the sensors present in its trays, is able to know when the drinks have been taken by the customers. He then come back to the barready to fetch the next command.
There’s a whole bunch of tech inside. When we got it installed, they scanned the whole restaurant. There are markers on each table. Everything is controlled through the interface. The only thing the customer has to do is press finish, once the drinks have been delivered, for the robot to return to the bar.
“They order a coffee on purpose to see the robot”
” The customer reaction is very positive, especially for children and the elderly”, continues Kévin with a smile. It must be said that Bella has a very nice design with its cat’s ears, his big round eyes and funny expressions. A little music even accompanies his travels.
95% of customers are satisfied. Sometimes they order a coffee on purpose to see the robot! It’s a cardboard.
If you stroke her ear, Bella will let out a “meow”! The cute waiter robot is also able to speak, making customer interactions more real. “If you call her, she’ll answer,” Kevin explains. “You can ask him a lot of stuff thanks to theartificial intelligence.”
Bella also owns a support service. So don’t be surprised if you find it near the entrance. Kevin will select a table number for you on thetouchscreen of the robot and it will lead you to your table.
All you have to do is settle in and enjoy!
6 Germany de la Bourgonnette, 35000 Rennes. 02 23 30 28 88. Open every day from midday to 2.30 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 10.30 p.m.
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