COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Peanut Man Gourmet Café in Columbia is getting new staff straight from the future.
The Columbia restaurant recently hired a new robot server named Bella.
Bella was programmed with the layout of the peanut man café to take food to tables. You can order your food at the front of the restaurant, and wait for your robot or human server at your table. The digital server only needs to be charged for four hours a day, and costs the restaurant roughly $6 per week.
Owner, Chris Hinely says the robots will not be replacing his human workers. They are only there to help free up staff.
"Bella is great. The customer interaction is great, and they love it, I can't say enough good things about Bella," Hinley said with a smile.
The concept of robot servers may scare some people, but Hinely assures that the robots will not be taking over the restaurant world any time soon.
"It compliments everything we are doing, it's not going to take anybody's job," Hinely explained. "It gives us the ability to use that person that would be running food back and forth for other things. They could be prepping, they could be cleaning, or making food, there's plenty of work to be done."
Servers at Peanut Man say having robot servers to help them serve food to people takes the stress of their every day work away from their regular wait staff.
"We have concrete floors so it's really a lot on your legs and back," explained server, Carrie Hinely. "If you have 4-5 people to a table, it 2-3 trips to the kitchen because you can only carry so many plates at one time, so I love Bella, she's great."
Bella works during the lunch rush every day to help make things a little more efficient around the café, and customers like Barbara Courtney say it makes their experience even more unique.
"We got a visit from Bella and she was delightful," Courtney giggled.
The Peanut Man is one of the first restaurants in Columbia to take on robot staff, and they hope they are not the last.
The restaurant is also hoping to bring on three more digital staff soon as well.