The service we receive from waiting staff in a restaurant makes a huge difference to the overall experience — maximising enjoyment and sometimes making up for when things don’t go quite right. But how would a restaurant with no front-of-house face deal with its customers?
Picture the scene… With a little clanking and a faint ‘whoosh’, your plate glides down from the ceiling, stops at your table and pauses; waiting for you to reach over and take it. Everything’s mechanical: there’s not a waiter in sight…
While many of us are used to the conveyor-belt style of modern sushi restaurants or self-serve buffet options, there is still a level of human interaction that infuses the atmosphere. One restaurant in Germany, however, has been serving its customers for years without a single waiter: delivering food to its diners using a complex system of metal rails that loop around the building like a miniature rollercoaster. The restaurant certainly offers a very different dining experience to what many people expect.
Customers make their order through a touch screen at the table, so there’s no awkward moment as you attempt to catch the waiter’s eye (though we’re not sure what happens if you need advice on the wine list). The food then arrives on the rail system that spirals down from the ceiling before branching off to the various tables.
It’s an interesting concept and visually striking — but the question is, how does this level of automation affect the atmosphere? Eating out is a very social affair, and part of that comes from the interaction with restaurant staff.
Here at Eurest, we like to keep an eye on how technology can change the relationship we have with food, yet we never underestimate the importance of the human touch. We know the right atmosphere is a delicate blend — our team are trained and prepared to give you an excellent experience, every time.
Source: Rosenberg, S. (2008). Fast Food, German Style. Available: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7335351.stm. Last accessed 14 Nov 2014.