WeChat replaces waiters at Chinese restaurant

A Chinese restaurant in Beijing has replaced its front-of-house staff and diners use messaging app WeChat to order and pay.

Diners at Renrenxiang Restaurant launch the app on their smartphone to browse the menu and place their order. They then pay for their meal using the messenger service, and are given an order number, reports Springwise.

Their meal is prepared in the kitchen and their number called out over a loudspeaker when it is ready. The customer can then collect their food. After eating, they leave their crockery on a cleaning table.

Customers do not even need to be in the restaurant to order. One frequent diner who works nearby says she orders while still in the office, then strolls to the restaurant. By the time she arrives, her meal is ready.

Meanwhile, the noodle restaurant’s owner is looking at cutting his overheads even further, reports CNN.

“There will be four ‘no’s in the restaurant – that is, no waitress, no cashier, no merchandiser and no chef,” says Renrenxiang founder Liu Zheng. “I did this because I’m following the technology development trend in China.

“Thanks to the app, we can cut out unnecessary expenditure, simplify management and focus more on taste and quality.”

The app also collects customer-related data – such as what dish is most popular, and what age groups visit more frequently. Renrenxiang uses the data to improve its marketing strategy. But despite its high-tech approach, the restaurant does not have its own website.

Also, it is not the first restaurant to offer waiterless service. In 2007, a restaurant in Nuremberg, Germany, began to offer fully automated order and table services. There are also similar eateries in Japan and the US.

Using robots to cook, serve and clean is also becoming more common in China.

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