‘They’re awesome’: Golden Corral restaurant has two robotic workers

A restaurant in West Virginia has two robots who help out with the dishes.
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 9:51 AM HST
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BECKLEY, W.V. (WVVA/Gray News) – A restaurant in West Virginia has some very special and modern workers: two robots.

The Golden Corral in Beckley is not from some galaxy far, far away, but “Star Wars” may have influenced some of the new staff additions.

The machines are not novelties that only sing “Happy Birthday” to celebrating guests. Their specialty is moving dishes.

The robots take the dishes to the dishwashers and can show customers to their table. The robots can do their tasks without bumping into people.

Tom Pape, the general manager at the restaurant, said the robots basically serve as a way to get the dirty dishes to the dish room.

“And it saves the servers so much time and effort,” he said. “The other day, we had a party of 200 kids. They not only evaded all these children all day long, but they got the whole place cleaned up in record time.”

Initial concerns were raised about the robots taking jobs or reducing the other employees’ hours, but the restaurant reports there was actually an increase in hours for dishwashers because of how effective the robot’s dish deliveries were.

The servers at Golden Corral have come to love their mechanized workers. They said the robots cut down on the amount of walking required at the job, giving them more time to interact with customers and reduce their fatigue at the end of their shift.

“They’re awesome,” server Ashley Mullins said. “They actually help us to save steps and energy throughout the day and give us more time to be with our customers and talk with them.”

Beckley is only the second Golden Corral location in the country to add these “bus boy bots” to their team. Pape said, based on how well the duo performs, he expects other restaurants to follow suit sooner than later.

Pape said Golden Corral is passing along suggestions for improvements to Richtech Robotics, a manufacturer which specializes in food service robots, which means the robots may have even more abilities in the future.