While use of robots in the service industry is by no means a new topic in Japan, there has been an observable uptick in gravitation towards it due to some preference for contactless customer-server interaction during the pandemic. An example of this has been server and delivery robots, as seen by one ramen chain's ramen robot staff.
Popular yakiniku chain Watami is embracing the same trend with a twist. For a limited time, the nationwide grilled meat dining chain will be offering Vtuber server robots.
From June 13 to July 10, select Watami locations (Ikebukuro Seibu East Exit Store, Kokubunji South Exit Store, Kawagoe Crea Mall Store, and Sakado North Exit Ekimae Store) in Japan will be offering virtual servers using the "KettyBot," a large-screen touch tablet-equipped food delivery robot.
The robots, fitted with a screen that displays the personality of one of three selected Vtubers, will greet and guide customers. After the customer is seated, the robot will provide an explanation of the restaurant and first order to the customer using the large touch-order screen mounted on the robot in a pre-recorded video by the Vtuber, which is in hope of cutting down on customers waiting for staff.
Of course, human staff is also on hand to make sure things run smoothly.
The three Vtubers who will be displayed as attached personalities to the staff robot were selected from a vote on the live-streaming app "REALITY", and their names are Hoshizora Natsuno, Chiitaya and Kagisuke.
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