In an industry that is manpower tight, any help would be good help, according to Guo Chang, the owner of Ah Ku Kaka Wa restaurant.
When you step into this humble Sichuan restaurant tucked away in the heartland of Ang Mo Kio, don’t be surprised if your food is served by a robot.
The robot doesn’t exactly replace the human waiters, but instead assist them by taking over tasks such as sending orders to customers and bringing back used plates and cutlery.
Meanwhile, the waiters have had their jobs improved. They now focus on tasks such as customer service and experience. There are also less accidents caused by food being carried up and down the aisles of the restaurant.
“The robot helped to eliminate the need for so many waiters at any one time and helped to make operations leaner. I used to need six workers to wait the tables at any one time, but with the robot, that’s been cut to four per shift,” said Guo Chang, who tapped on WorkPro Job Redesign Grant administered by NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute).
And in case you’re wondering how the robot works, here’s a short clip of it in action:
Competing in a Digital World
The restaurant believes that even small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can compete in a digital economy. The company has been an NTUC U SME Partner for the past two years.
“We have a lot of support from the Government, NTUC and other places nowadays to be able to buy technology for our business. If we look around, we will find many grants available for us,” said Guo Chang, as advice to other SMEs.
Moving forward, the SME boss plans to adopt more technology soon. He’s also thinking of going global and opening more restaurants in neighbouring countries.
“I want to continue to grow my business and make it more efficient. And I believe technology can help with this,” he said.
Note: Do you know of any other enlightened companies who have transformed their businesses by tapping on technology? Nominate them for the Digital Leap Award jointly organised by NTUC U SME and UOB. Click here for more info.