FAIRHAVEN, Mass. (WPRI) — When you walk into Traveler’s Alehouse, you may run into the restaurant’s newest employee.
But Wall-E isn’t your average server.
Named after the protagonist in Disney’s “Wall-E,” the robot offers the restaurant’s staff a second set of hands, according to chef William Couto.
“Wall-E is basically just a wagon with a brain,” Couto said.
Wall-E helps the pub’s servers deliver plates to tables and relays takeout orders from the kitchen to the front foyer.
The plates and takeout bags are placed on one of Wall-E’s three trays, which can collectively hold 66 pounds.
Couto said Wall-E has the restaurant’s layout memorized, adding that his sensors prevent him from crashing into furniture, other servers and unsuspecting guests.
Each of the restaurant’s tables and locations are numbered, according to Couto. That means that, with the push of a button, Wall-E knows exactly where to go and what to do.
Wall-E first started working at Traveler’s Alehouse in late December.
Couto tells 12 News that the restaurant has been struggling to hire since the start of the pandemic.
“The demand for people is really high in the restaurant industry,” Couto said. “It’s hard to work short-staffed.”
That’s why the restaurant chose to bring Wall-E on board.
“He shows up on time, he’s great,” Couto said. “No complaints. He also gets along well with our staff.”
Wall-E does more than just fill holes in the restaurant’s staffing schedule.
He can also greet guests, bring them to their tables and sing “Happy Birthday.”
When asked whether Wall-E could eventually take jobs away from prospective hires, Couto said absolutely not.
“He’s not replacing staff,” Couto explained. “He’s no more of a replacement to staff than a calculator or a blender.”
Wall-E was created by Bare Robotics, a tech company known for making hospitality robots.
The restaurant pays Bare Robotics a monthly fee for Wall-E, according to Couto. So far, he said Wall-E has been worth every penny.