At Tastee Spoon in Dunwoody, patrons may notice a new, robotic face on the waitstaff.
The Caribbean restaurant will employ a robot, named Irie Milly, to help support wait staff with their daily tasks, according to a post on the city’s Facebook page.
“It’s programmed to go around the entire restaurant,” said owner Raymone Williams in a video explaining how the robot works. “All the tables are strategically placed, and the robot stops at certain places and it can serve up to 12 plates at a time. So that makes a difference.”
Williams said the robot’s name combines her mother’s name and the word “irie,” which means “cool.”
“It’s a Caribbean word that’s used a lot,” she said.
The robot is meant to lessen the load on Tastee Spoon’s waitstaff, said Williams. In comments on the post, some people worried the robot would take the place of human waiters, while others wondered if a labor shortage had led to the inclusion of the robot. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants across the state have been suffering from a worker shortage.
Representatives from Tastee Spoon did not respond in time for publication to requests for comment, but in the video Williams said the robot has not replaced any human workers.
“It’s only enhanced the experience that the waitstaff have,” Williams said. “It’s really helpful to whomever is working that day … and plus it also frees up the time where they can really interact with the guest.”