EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The labor shortage is still a big challenge for businesses nationwide including the Royal Pot restaurant in East Lansing, so the owners decided to get creative.

“The labor is not that enough so we have to find a way out,” manager Qiang Qiang Liu said.

The Bellabot or Bella got the job at the Royal Pot only two weeks ago.

Management said she’s an extra set of hands even though she doesn’t actually have them and that she’s already bringing joy to customers

“I was shocked, I’ve never seen anything like that before”, customer Paula Miller said.

“I think it’s very convenient, I think it’s very helpful and I’m not very surprised that these things are coming around nowadays,” customer Daniella Smigiel said.

Bella is programmed with the restaurant’s layout and can navigate the floor using laser sensors. At the touch of a few buttons, Bella is on her way, delivering food to tables.

Assistant manager Liu said that Bella is harmless and people shouldn’t be afraid of her.

“Children like the cat or small animals. I think that’s one of the advantages of this robot because even the child isn’t afraid of it and the adults shouldn’t be,” Liu said.

But if anyone feels uncomfortable, Liu said the restaurant will accommodate. Customers say this new innovation could change the workforce in both good and bad ways.

“Obviously it’s replacing positions in restaurants but it’s also creating new positions in other job fields because people have to make the robots,” customer Kyle Depray said.
While the future of Bellabot is uncertain, she’ll keep taking orders without asking for much in return.