Many operators have completely shut their doors due to staff shortages. More than 75% of restaurant operators report that recruiting and retaining employees is their top challenge, the highest level recorded in two decades, according to the National Restaurant Association.
The taste of Chinese cuisine relies entirely on chefs. They are in charge of the ingredients, cooking times and temperatures, and the use of seasonings, which are all controlled by the chef’s personal experience. As a result, changing chefs can affect a restaurant a lot.
There is a shift from Americanized dishes to more authentic Chinese dishes and flavors. Therefore, experienced and well-trained chefs are in high demand. The current immigration policies restrict skilled cooks from moving from China to work in the U.S.
Black, J. (2021, September 20). How to make an unloved job more attractive? restaurants Tinker with wages. The New York Times. Retrieved October 12, 2021, from https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/20/dining/restaurant-wages.html.
With recent advancements in technology, robots and automation have great potential in Chinese restaurants.
They can automate the food and beverage-making process, save money and human resources, enrich menus, reduce cooking errors, reduce food waste, and work 24/7 without a raise.
Customer-facing robots can help reduce human contact, a significant benefit during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
MiFood Tech is a kitchen robot startup that aims to provide automated solutions for Chinese restaurants and kitchens, and to reduce labor costs while maintaining a high quality of cuisine.
Our intelligent woks are programmable. After restaurant employees store ingredients in the designated boxes, the woks will add cooking oil, drop specific ingredients down, and stir and cook dishes automatically.
Currently, we are developing our intelligent woks. To test the prototypes, we plan to launch our pilot restaurant “TANR” to service traditional Chinese dishes and rice bowls in downtown Ithaca next summer.
To test our technologies in the real world, we plan to open a test restaurant with our technologies in Ithaca next summer. The test restaurant is called TANR (摊儿). It means “booth” in Chinese. This restaurant pitches itself as a fast-casual Chinese food restaurant. Our target dine-in customers are employees working in downtown office buildings, downtown visitors, and residents (mainly Cornell students) living in the surrounding neighborhood. We will also provide delivery for Cornell students and locals.