HALLS Gap's Spirit of Punjab restaurant has employed two new staff - but they are quite different to any they've had on the books before.
Meet Caddy, and soon its friend Bella will be starting.
They are two robot waiters restaurant owner Gary Singh has configured into his business to help wait staff do their jobs.
Mr Singh said the company that built the robots visited the region and showed him how it could change the way he does business.
"We try and use a lot of technology and the robots just increase that," he said.
"The company wanted to trial the product in a regional setting so we jumped on board."
Mr Singh said there was 11 staff employed at his restaurant with the need for that number to increase as demand peaks during the impending school holiday period.
"We need extra staff and previous we've used staff that we've shared with other restaurants and businesses in Melbourne," he said.
"But now because Melbourne restaurants don't have any staff we can't get the extra staff we would normally get when the city goes quiet and people go on holidays.
"So now, to cover that, and to reduce the workload of the staff that I have, we decided to put the robots in place."
Mr Singh said the robots would help the wait staff clear tables and deliver food - the restaurant has upgraded its technology so customers can order their food via their smartphone while sitting at the table.
"It eliminates the need to try to catch a waiter's eye or putting your hand up," he said.
"If they want something, they can press a button. It will be more efficient and when we are really busy it means customers can be served when they want.
"From the kitchen, the orders can be sent to the customer via the robot as well so no need to wait until someone is free."
Mr Singh said the response from customers had been welcoming.
"Kids love it," he said.
"Customers love it. The first thing everyone says is can they take a video.
"Of course there will be people who won't like it and that's ok - we have the staff to take care of them.
"People want easy jobs and people aren't looking to get into hospitality as much anymore because it doesn't pay lots of money and the work is hard.
"The robots will make the work easier for staff and happier."
Mr Singh said the robots wouldn't be replacing staff, more so, just in place to help the current staff.
"We have to look at something - we would always pay for accommodation for staff because coming here is a big move for some," he said.
"But there are many factors now such as housing shortage, increased in cost of living - prices have gone up everywhere.
"But we'll just do the best we can. We're looking forward to the Christmas period and holiday season. We're almost booked out most nights from December 15 onwards. It's really good it's starting to get busy again."
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