Close your eyes and imagine a world where going to a bar means having to interface with several cocktail-making robots. Now open your eyes. Believe it or not, this is somewhat of a reality, but even though today’s world is filled with emerging technology, we’re pretty far off from replacing bartenders all together. So to all of you Mixologists out there, don’t fret—robot bartenders may start popping up in establishments all over the map, but they won’t make your job obsolete.
While most of today’s drink-mixing machines can make cocktails in a simple and relatively speedy manner, they’re not quite advanced enough to converse one-on-one with customers. A human being is still required to not only tend to the technology and serve the drinks, but also to engage and be social with bar-goers.
Only available at the “Bionic Bar” on two of Royal Caribbean’s cruise ships, the Italian made “Makr Shakr” is an example of how such a situation would work. A set of robotic arms assembles the cocktails then places them on a conveyer belt to be picked up by a server, who finally carries the order to the respective customer.
“Bartendro” functions in a similar fashion. The booze-dispensing box, complete with a pour spout, may be able to produce an array of different drinks, but it still needs to be managed by a human. Sounds convenient, right? Well at Denver’s Tryst bar, bartender Richie Hadley declares it’s quite the opposite. After buying “Bartendro” for $2,500 off of Kickstarter, Tryst rarely uses the device unless a customer asks to see it in action; its sole purpose is to be “visually eye-catching.”
Still, some of these machines prove to have potential for a promising future. One in particular, “Monsieur,” available at-home or for commercial use, looks identical to a Coke dispensing machine, complete with a cup dispenser and ice reservoir. The self-serve cocktail robot may appear rudimentary, but it could conceivably add an alcohol aspect to any restaurant that ultimately lacks a bar. That sounds pretty decent to us.
These advancements are certainly exciting, but that doesn’t necessary mean that they’ll become the bartending “standard” anytime soon. When people visit a bar, they aren’t going to want to talk to a robot; they will want to communicate face-to-face with a human being. After all, there is something special to hearing a drink recommendation directly from a real live person’s mouth.
What do you feel the future holds? Will robots surpass the everyday bartender?