According to Fortune, Asia’s biggest listed restaurant chain by market value is partnering with Japan’s Panasonic Corp. to open what the two companies say is the world’s first eatery with a fully automated kitchen Oct. 28 in Beijing. At the new Haidilao restaurant, robots will take orders, prepare and deliver raw meat and fresh vegetables to customers to plop into soups prepared at their tables.
The automation will lower labor costs and boost efficiency, underpinning Haidilao’s plan to expand to as many as 5,000 restaurants worldwide, the companies said. Panasonic (pcrfy, -0.47%) also supplies batteries to power Tesla Inc.’s electric cars.
Haidilao became Asia’s first eatery chain to surpass $10 billion in market value when it held its initial public offering in Hong Kong last month. The company has more than 360 locations around the world including Japan, the U.S. and Taiwan.
The chain’s billionaire chairman Zhang Yong said that when he first started Haidilao 24 years ago, the restaurant business seemed “centuries” out of date. With technology, he’s set out to run more efficient restaurants.