Viral Video of Robot Server at Denny's Sparks Debate: 'I Would Walk Out'

A video of a robot being used to serve food in a Denny's restaurant has sparked conversation online, after it gained over 470,000 views.

The clip was shared by TikTok user @miabellaceo five days ago and captured the robot carrying plates of food over on in-built shelves.

"Here comes breakfast," said the off-camera voice as the robot server approached from around the corner.

The TikTok user confirmed in a comment that a waitress did take their order and serve them coffee, but the robot simply delivered the food.

Unsurprisingly, the use of robots in restaurants often causes divided opinions, and this video has been no different.

The video can also be seen in full here.

@miabellaceo

Early morning breakfast at Denny’s I did give the server hot apple pie mini melt sample..

♬ original sound - Bob

"Never calls out, doesn't talk back, always on time, no interpersonal relationship drama, never complains...i'm sold," commented one user.

"So, we don't have to tip anymore?" asked another.

"Welp, people quit their jobs and don't want to work anymore, so here ya go," noted one TikTok user.

Others, however, were far less receptive to the use of a robot in the Denny's restaurant, with one user writing: "I would walk out. Nope. Human or I don't do business with you."

"Boycott Denny's," another said.

The use of serving robots at Denny's, among other restaurants, comes during a national labor shortage in the U.S., with the food industry hugely impacted.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, August saw record amounts of workers quitting, with over 4.3 million Americans leaving their jobs. 867,000 of those were accommodation and food service workers.

September's data, the latest available, shows little difference with 863,000 accommodation and food service workers quitting.

A 2021 study by Black Box Intelligence and Snagajob found that wages and benefits, childcare, opportunities in other industries and concerns about mental and physical health are the most prominent reasons for the labor shortage.

Denny's aren't the only ones turning to robot runners during the labor shortage either. In July, Newsweek reported on a Dallas restaurant that had hired two robots to be servers.

"I had people who tell me, 'Well, they're taking people's jobs,'" restaurant co-owner Taco Borga told CBS affiliate station KTVT. "Guess what? No. They're not taking anybody's job, because no one is showing up. What they are doing is helping the ones who are really working."

Each robot reportedly costs the restaurant owner between $8 to $10 a day, while normally he would pay a worker $10 an hour each.

The two server robots deliver food and drinks and a human server accompanies them to take the items off their shelves. This means they're able to serve more tables at any given time.