New London restaurant’s answer to staff shortages: robots

New London

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — A new restaurant in New London is taking a unique approach to address staff shortages: robots.

Soni Gulshan, the owner of the Shaking Crab, told News 8 they will still use regular waiters and waitresses to explain the menu and take orders, but robots will deliver the meals to tables and take away dirty dishes.

“Here’s your order. Please pick it up,” said one of the robots in a video Gulshan provided News 8. “Enjoy your meal.”

The Shaking Crab, which is located on North Frontage Road, is set to open on Oct. 1. Gulshan said he has had a tough time like many restaurant owners, trying to find enough people to hire. He said using robots will help with that problem but also give diners a unique experience.

“The robot will come here,” Gulshan said. “It automatically stops. The chip will be right here. It automatically stops here and turns around here. ‘Hey, this is your order. Can you please pick up your order?’ And they will pick up their order or our traditional server will come and explain, ‘hey, this your order, this is your order, and this is your order.’”

These robots are quite an investment. The ones which use a mapping system to find their way to your table start at about $18,000, and the ones that use a magnetic strip with a chip in it in front of the table to find the location cost between $6,000 and $8,000.

The seafood boil restaurant will also offer specialties like jumbo lobsters and jumbo crabs which are expensive but can be shared.

Since the restaurant may be one of a kind for the New London area, Gulshan is anxious to see how people respond to the menu and the robots.

Watch News 8 to learn more about the Shaking Crab’s unorthodox approach.

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