Almost 90% of Michigan's restauranteurs say they don't have enough workers. These innovative robots could be the solution to the problem. What could go wrong?

There was a collective sigh of relief when Michigan restaurants opened up again after being shuttered during the early days of the Coronavirus pandemic. Limited hours and capacities opened up and the road ahead looked clear. Now, owners face a problem they're having a hard time solving: nobody seems to want to work. At some restaurants, lobbies remain closed due to a lack of staff to clean them. Hours have been limited in some cases and some eateries have closed for a full day each week or not turned on the "open" sign for a full week to give harried employees a chance to catch their breath.

Part of the problem is the compensation structure for servers. Employees who earn tips in Michigan do not have to be paid the state minimum wage of $9.65, but make a meager $3.67 per hour, plus tips. No diners, no tips.

Technology is the solution to the problem and the future has arrived.

A pair of robots, Bella and Hola are part of the team at Noodle Topia in the Detroit suburb of Madison Heights. Fox 2 Detroit reports that Bella serves patrons and Hola cleans up. They are not automatons- they don't look like people, but these machines are efficient at getting the job done. Noodle Topia owner Lee Zhai says "it's not 100% to occupy a person's position, but it helps a lot."

Are robots the solution to Michigan restaurants' manpower shortage or the beginning of the extinction of mankind?

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