ROBOTS are now serving customers at a Chinese restaurant in Bolton with even birthday cake delivered in automated style.

The Chinese Buffet- TCB Unlimited Dining Experience in Bridge Street in Bolton have introduced the new high tech team members to do the leg work when serving customers.

All restaurants in the chain will use robots, or ‘Bella’ as it’s known in-house, to deliver dishes ordered by customers from a bespoke app.

This means staff don’t have the repetitive task of making hundreds of journeys to and from the kitchen, since they moved away from their traditional buffet style service and introduced the new table service post Covid lockdown.

Paolo Hu, TCB Managing Director said: “The hospitality industry is facing unprecedented challenges in recruiting staff at the moment, so anything we can do to make team members feel more valued and their jobs easier goes a long way towards keeping staff motivated and happy.

“We are definitely the first place with robots in Bolton, there isn’t anyone doing this here and soon all of our branches will have at least two robots.

“If you look at Star Wars many years ago, there were robots running around and now it’s happening in real life.”

“Bella Bot is a great new addition to the team, making it possible for front of house staff to spend more time attending to the needs of our customers.

“Bella never tires, she just keeps on going, making the return journey between kitchen and tables, literally hundreds of times a day, so our people can spend more time helping our customers have a great time.”

The robots are interactive with customers and can not only sing Happy Birthday, but they also say things like “stop touching my ear” and “that feels good.”

Sally Bolton, a waiter at the restaurant, said: “We love having Bella here, she’s not just a robot to us, she’s part of the team and she helps us to take food to customers so we can concentrate on doing other things.”

The TCB Unlimited Dining Experience currently has restaurants open in Blackpool, Bolton, Huddersfield, Liverpool, St Helens and Wigan, with more of the chain opening up again soon and will all have the robots tirelessly serving customers.

Paolo is eager to reassure customers that staff will not be getting replaced with the robots, as Bella’s job is to help with some delivery service only, and staff will still be the ones communicating with diners and seeing to their needs.