Un­staffed Restau­rant Opens

Beijing Review - - This Week -

Food brand Wu­fangzhai has opened an un­staffed restau­rant in Hangzhou, cap­i­tal city of east China’s Zhe­jiang Province.

Wu­fangzhai is a 97-year-old brand and is a fa­mous pro­ducer of zongzi , gluti­nous rice dumplings wrapped in leaves.

The com­pany col­lab­o­rated with Koubei, a food and dining ser­vice op­er­ated by e-com­merce powerhouse Alibaba, to launch its first un­staffed restau­rant, where cus­tomers can or­der and pick up meals on their own.

With­out wait­ing in line, cus­tomers can or­der meals through self­ser­vice ma­chines or by scan­ning a quick re­sponse code on a ta­ble with their smart­phones and take their meals from cup­boards in the restau­rant.

The restau­rant is opened 24-hour and pro­vides dish rec­om­men­da­tions for cus­tomers based on big data pro­vided by Koubei.

“It is very con­ve­nient to use your phone to or­der meals with the rec­om­men­da­tion ser­vice,” said a man whose sur­name is He from Hangzhou. “It only takes about three min­utes for the meals.”

Dining in the restau­rant is “a novel ex­pe­ri­ence,” said an­other res­i­dent. “The self-ser­vice process is easy and smooth.”

“The restau­rant mainly de­pends on the big data of Koubei to im­prove its run­ning and man­age­ment,” said Koubei CEO Fan Chi.

The restau­rant’s rev­enue has in­creased by 40 per­cent over the past month, said Wang Shuy­ing, man­ager of the restau­rant, adding that “la­bor costs have de­clined as the num­ber of staff has de­creased from 13 to six.”

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