Robots get to work at Golden Corral in Beckley

Servers say the robots make work easier.
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 7:16 PM EST
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BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) -This is not some galaxy far, far away, but Star Wars may have influenced some of the new staff additions at the Golden Corral in Beckley. This restaurant’s now features two robotic workers. These machines sing birthday wishes, but their specialty is moving dishes. They takes the dishes to the dishwashers, and they can show customers to their table, and they even deliver birthday cake. Plus, the robots do it without bumping into people.

“They basically serve as... get the dishes to the dish room. And it saves the servers so much time and effort. The other day, we had a party of two hundred kids. They not only evaded all these children all day long, but they got the whole place cleaned up in record time,” says Tom Pape, the general manager of the Golden Corral in Beckley.

There were initial concerns the robots would take jobs or reduce the other employees hours, but the restaurant reports there was actually an increase in hours for the dishwashers because of how effective the robot’s dish deliveries are. The servers have come to love their mechanized coworkers. They say the robots cut down the amount of walking required, giving them more time to interact with customers and reducing their fatigue at the end of their shift.

“They’re awesome. 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,” says Ashley Mullins, one of the servers.

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