Recently, I just bought my own domain. While doing some configurations to my blog, I was surprised that suddenly my domain was not working anymore. I ping’ed it and it was not responding, so there was something wrong. I kept surfing the web if there may be downtime issues with our clients. It took me some time to decide on checking out my host provider’s website and find out that they were doing system maintenance. I emailed customer support to inform them that they should have emailed the customers so that I, for one would know in the first place what was really happening in case I would check out my site. Here was the reply.
It would take longer for the issue to be resolved if we were to do that.
Now, how the hell would them emailing me delay the issue from being resolved? That was a pretty bad answer for a very simple question.
Germany likes to call itself the “Land of Ideas” – and over the centuries it has certainly had plenty of them. It was Germans who invented the aspirin, the airship, the printing press and the diesel engine.
But Germany has surely never produced anything quite as weird as the automated restaurant.
I say “restaurant” – but it actually looks more like a rollercoaster, with long metal tracks criss-crossing the dining area.
The tracks run all the way from the kitchen, high up in the roof, down to the tables, twisting and turning as they go. And down the tracks – in little pots with wheels fixed to the bottom – speeds food.
Supersonic sausages, high-pace pancakes and wine bottles whizzing down to the customers’ tables with the help of good old gravity. One pot is spiralling down so fast, it looks like an Olympic bobsleigh (but it’s only Bratwurst).
I wanted to come up with a complete new restaurant system Michael Mack, restaurant owner
What’s more, at the ‘s Baggers restaurant in Nuremberg, you don’t need waiters to order food. Customers use touch-screen TVs to browse the menu and choose their meal.
You can even use the computers to send e-mails and text messages while you wait for the food to be cooked. But all this may not appeal to those who like traditional waiter service.
Meals on wheels
Up in the kitchen, it is man, not machine, that makes the food. They haven’t found a way of automating the chef, just yet.
Everything is prepared from fresh. When it is ready, the meal is put in a pot and given a sticker and a colour to match the customer’s seat.
Then it is put on the rails and despatched downhill to the correct table. Manna from heaven, German-style.
The restaurant is the brainchild of local businessman Michael Mack.
“I wanted to come up with a complete new restaurant system,” Michael tells me, “one that would be more efficient and more comfortable”.
Replacing waiters with helter-skelters and computers is fun for the customers. It also makes financial sense for the restaurant.
Food comes down from the kitchen A plate of food whizzes down from the kitchen
“You can save labour costs,” explains restaurant spokesperson Kyra Mueller-Siecheneder.
“You don’t need the waiters to run to the customers, take the orders, run to the kitchen and back to the guests.”
The restaurant has not completely done away with the human touch. There are still some staff on hand to explain to rather bemused customers how to use the technology.
But what do the punters here think? Do Germans really have the appetite for automated mealtimes?
“It’s another art for eating. I like it!” one man raves.
“It’s more for young people than old people,” a woman tells me. “My mother was here yesterday and she needs my son’s help to order.”
Watching all this food raining down on the restaurant makes me ravenous. I decide that it is my turn to test the system. I order steak and salad on the computer and wait for it to appear. A few minutes later, a pot glides down to my table with my “fast food” – and it is delicious.
As I finish the meal and prepare to leave, one final thought crosses my mind. An automated meal doesn’t only save the restaurant money, but the customer, too. After all, in a restaurant without waiters, there is no need to leave a tip…
Whoa! my very first blog post. i am very lazy when it comes to these but hey, with google adsense’s popularity i think ill give a go with blogging and see what happens. What to blog? what to blog? i guess i can ask about why consumer prices keep skyrocketing even though the u.s. dollar is declining? i thought that since the dollar has been weakening, at least prices would also downgrade. no way! they keep skyrocketing upward. even the pinaypay saging just increased its price to almost 100%?!? are they nuts? you’d think they imported those bananas from abroad hence the increase.
the same thing with julie’s bakeshoppe. they probably increased all prices of their bread products. i only eat their cheese bread and choco german. cheese bread had a probably acceptable 50 cent increase but choco german?!? no way.. it’s the same as the pinaypay banana, almost a 100% increase. i did ask my uncle last year why it happens like that. he told me, that is just the way how it works out. businesses would be happy because consumer prices would never be lowered. see this as another profit for them.
dollar keeps declining (which is good news for the government only). i don’t see it as good news to us. OFWs wouldn’t like this because the conversion rate becomes small. so do people who have invested in the dollar. considering our salaries barely get an increase every year, it can’t keep up with the increase of prices in almost everything. life’s getting harder and harder each day.. and it’s going to probably get worse …