Indian restaurant in Tallahassee lets robots invade and sees a windfall in business

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — The future is now at Persis Indian Grill in Tallahassee. A new fleet of robots delivers food to the restaurant in Mahan Drive and Capital Circle.

The restaurant has been using the robots since mid-May.

Owner Kumaresan Periaswami said he believes they are the first of their kind in North Florida.

“That solves my goal,” he said.

Periaswami bought the restaurant about three years ago, just before the pandemic sent shockwaves through the restaurant industry.

“From the start, I had challenges, challenges, challenges,” he said.

To get customers back to their seats and overcome nationwide labor shortages, he turned to China-based “Pudu Robotics” and bought three delivery robots for around $45,000.

He said it became a great investment. The robot invasion, it seems, turned into a success.

“It’s been working perfectly for three weeks and lots of customers love it,” he said.

Robots cannot take a customer’s order, but they can deliver the menu and water. And when the food is ready from the kitchen, a pre-programmed route is activated and the robot takes off effortlessly.

Little did Christy Baldwin know her Friday lunch break would include a visit from the future.

“I’m like ‘What is this? then it stopped at our table. I was like, ‘Oh, okay,'” she said.

Periaswami said he did not fire any staff when he brought in the robots. He hopes to continue to automate the dining process, eventually allowing customers to order from an app at the table.

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