Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, your dinner order is arriving. Timbre, a Singapore based bar-restaurant chain, is experimenting with drones to serve its customers as a way to help curb a labor shortage and increase productivity. It claims this will be a first for the global food and beverage industry.
The restaurant chain doesn’t intend to use the drones as a replacement for human waiters, but to supplement its current workforce.
Restrictive manpower policies are part of the Singapore government’s drive to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign labor and boost productivity. Instead of the staff spending a large portion of their time shuttling back and forth between the kitchen and the restaurant floor, the drones will enable them to focus on higher value tasks such as engaging customers or highlighting new menu items or promotional dishes.
The drones, which operate autonomously and can hold up to 2kg, will not deliver food straight to a customer’s table, however.
Instead, once the food or drink is prepared, a chef or bartender will place the items on the drone and key in a number for a central waiting table. Waiters will then take the food off the drone and serve the customer.