Nescafé Hires Robot Clerks to Sell Espresso
Nestlé has figured a clever way to make its customer service stand out in Japan, where it will be employing a team of 1,000 friendly robots to sell people espresso.
According to The Local, Nestlé is acquiring 1,000 robots to use as sale clerks in its Nescafé stores in Japan that sell espresso machines and coffee pods. The robots are expected to report for duty at the end of the year.
"From December, they will start selling coffee machines for us at big retail stores," said Nestlé Japan spokeswoman Miki Kano. "We are sure that our customers will enjoy shopping and being entertained by robots."
The robot is a four-foot-tall, vaguely human-shaped robot named Pepper. It moves on wheels, has what looks like an iPad in its chest, and can reportedly read facial expressions and respond to human emotion.
“Pepper will be able to explain Nescafé products and services and engage in conversation with consumer,” said Nestlé Japan president and chief executive Kohzoh Takaoka in a statement.
The Pepper robot has already been employed in customer service in Japan, as they started appearing in June in stores for the SoftBank Mobile wireless company taking customer opinion surveys.