Toyako, a restaurant which opened last month in the Hongkou district of Shanghai, has customers flocking to its store to get a glimpse of its chefs Koya and Kona. Koya and Kona are not your typical chefs, but rather two $154,000 robots specifically designed to make ramen.
The robots unfortunately do not make the ramen completely from scratch, but boil and serve the noodles, soup, and garnish in exactly 90 seconds, according to Shanghai Daily. Toyako serves four types of ramen: seafood, fried fish, beef in brown sauce and braised pork, however the robots can only make the beef variety, according to owner Liu Jin.
The robots are far from cost effective, says Shanghai Daily. The cost of the robots is equivalent to the cost of employing two human chefs for six years. As a result, the ramen sold at Toyako is double than that of other typical restaurants. Despite these factors, Liu believes that he can make a profit with the restaurant. He says, “You don’t get any problems with robots. They’ll never ask for leave and they won’t get sick.”