Many South Korean restaurants have adopted service robots to improve work efficiency and save operation costs. Restaurant owners with such robots do not need to worry about minor mistakes made by human workers. Because there is no need to pay employees, operation costs can be significantly reduced. Data released by the national statistics office showed that the number of serving robots is expected to exceed 10,000 in 2023.
"We launched the new ordering system 'Hi-Order' on May 2. Service robots connected to Hi-Order are already serving visitors at some restaurants," KT's spokesperson Kang Ri-ra told Aju Daily. Restaurant owners do not even need to check where visitors are sitting as completed dishes will be immediately delivered to customers' tables. After the customer finishes eating, they can use the robot again to return the empty dish.
Hi-Order, which operates based on KT's WiFi, enables users to make payments right after selecting menus. Human managers can also change food images displayed on tablet menu boards. "We are gradually expanding store automation services for small business operators by releasing HI-Order, followed by AI call assistants and AI service robots,” KT's customer digital transformation division head Park Jung-ho said in a statement on May 9.
KT is currently operating AI-based robot services at restaurants and hotels. KT's robots are capable of moving around a building using elevators. In 2019, the telecom company rolled out concierge robots at a hotel in Seoul to provide room services. In 2020, the company partnered with a hotel franchise operated by Shinsegae, South Korea's retail giant, to offer robot butler services.
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