Alibaba Integrates Robots Into The Restaurant

Alibaba Integrates Robots Into The Restaurant

August 2, 2018

Alibaba is experimenting with robots and software applications to streamline the restaurant ordering and wait staff service processes.

Customers check in at a kiosk and are provided a QR code to track their order through the system.  They walk around the market and choose fresh foods, then the food is robotically delivered to refrigerated storage until the customer is seated. Humans still prepare the meal, but instead of handing it off to a waiter, the meal is placed in a “pod” and delivered via conveyor belt to the customer’s table.


Video spotlight: Hema’s New ‘Robotic Restaurant’


This post is based on the Business Insider article, Robots are replacing waiters and delivering fresh seafood right to people’s tables at Alibaba’s high-tech restaurant in Shanghai, by Prachi Bhardwaj, July 2, 2018, and the YouTube video, Hema’s New ‘Robotic Restaurant’, by Alibaba Group, June 26, 2018. Image sources: Corbis/Superstock and Shutterstock / GreenLandStudio.

Discussion Questions:

1. Would the service delivery model Alibaba is pioneering, with advanced robots and conveyor-belt delivery, be acceptable to domestic customers at a fast food restaurant? What about a fine dining restaurant?

Guidance: Students should review the concepts of servicescape, service delivery, and service Continue reading

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The Ingenious Design of a Food Truck

The Ingenious Design of a Food Truck

Today’s food trucks bear no resemblance to the traditional food trucks at state fairs. They are mobile kitchens designed to please the most discriminating foodies. How can they deliver culinary feats in such tight spaces? With efficient layouts and the multi-faceted talents of the people who operate them.

Community fundraising events, such as the Eugene Food Truck Festival in Oregon, serve to expand the reach and popularity of food truck operations, while changing regulations and permit requirements pose a challenge in many locations.

This post is based on the Washington Post article, What’s in a Food Truck?, by B. Berkowitz, S. Blanchard, A. Steckelberg, and M. Ulmanu, May 14, 2018; and on the Daily Emerald article, Eugene Food Truck Festival attracts 12,000; raises funds for Eugene Mission, by E. Matlock, July 9. 2018, and the USA Today article, Regulations and permit headaches keep food trucks from cruising down Easy Street, by Z. Meyer, June 12, 2018. Image source: © McGraw-Hill Education/Christopher Kerrigan.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the basic equipment requirements for a food truck?

Guidance: See the interactive graphic shown in the article: freshwater and wastewater tanks, freezer, refrigerator, generator to power Continue reading

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