Rice and Robots: Tallahassee Indian restaurant lets robots invade, sees boon in business

The future is now at Persis Indian Grill in Tallahassee. A new fleet of robots is delivering food at the restaurant off Mahan Drive and Capital Circle.
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 6:44 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 17, 2022 at 6:52 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The future is now at Persis Indian Grill in Tallahassee. A new fleet of robots is delivering food at the restaurant off 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.

“It solves my purpose,” he said.

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

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

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

He said it’s turned into a great investment. The robot invasion, it appears, has turned into a hit.

“It’s been working flawlessly for the past three weeks and a lot of customers are loving it,” he said.

The robots can’t 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 effortlessly takes off.

Christy Baldwin didn’t know her Friday lunch break would feature a visit from the future.

“I’m like ‘What is that?’ and then it stopped at our table. I was like, ‘Oh, OK,’” she said.

Periaswami said he didn’t lay off any staff when he brought in the robots. He hopes to continue automating the dining process, by eventually allowing customers to order from an app at the table.

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