Meet The "Bionic Barrista" Whose Mission Is To Terminate Millions Of Minimum Wage Jobs

Tyler Durden's picture

Tired of your barista giving you attitude, spitting in your coffee if you only mention Trump, or misspelling your name on your morning cup of joe? Surely a robot could do better. Well, we are about to find out, because on Monday, Cafe X opened its very first robotic cafe in San Francisco’s Metreon shopping center Digital Trends reports. Promising “precision crafted specialty coffee in seconds, the way the roaster intended,” Cafe X thinks that anything a human can do, its machines can do better. Or rather just one machine. 

Nicknamed Gordon, after a Cafe X employee, this robot mans, or robots, two standard professional coffee machines in order to serve up espressos and lattes. In the San Francisco location, customers can grab a cup of coffee with beans from AKA Coffee, Verve Coffee Roasters, or Peet’s. While the coffee itself may not make Cafe X stand out from the competition, the startup hopes that the robot’s efficiency and utility will.

And it surely will, because while its name may be Gordon, its title is the "bionic barrista" and its primary mission is to terminate millions of minimum wage jobs around the globe, boosting the bottom line for major coffee chains everywhere, whose growth has plateaued and who are desperate to cut on overhead costs. Already the average Cafe X coffee costs more than 10%, or 40 cents less than a similar drink at Starbucks. With greater scale the price will only drop.

While offering clear savings for the business, there will be some tradeoffs - introducing automation and robotics into food service will reduce costs and increase efficiency at the expense of customization and a "human touch." Some companies - and clients - may prefer a personal experience to an efficient one, or a customized product. The company behind Gordon, however, disagrees: “There’s a lot of work that goes into great coffee. The Cafe X system is designed for humans and robots to collaborate,” Cafe X explains on its websites. “Smart robotics and machine learning working autonomously allows our operations team to focus on sourcing and using fresh ingredients, maintaining extremely high hygiene standards, and ensuring a great customer experience with every single interaction.”  According to Cafe X, a great customer experience involves efficiency and replicability. “By being automated, we guarantee every cup of coffee you are served from a Cafe X machine is how the roaster intended you to enjoy their coffee,” Cafe X CEO Henry Hu told CNET.

For clients, the efficiency improvements and passed-through cost savings will likely more than offset any loss of a "human touch" - you can order your cup of coffee ahead of time with the Cafe X mobile app and even schedule a pickup time, if you want. Thanks to the robot’s artificial intelligence software, your pre-orders are taken into consideration alongside walk-in orders to ensure that no one is waiting for too long. And with a single robot capable of making 100 to 120 cups of coffee in an hour, you likely won’t be waiting long at all.

And since bionic barristas not only do not expect a weekly paycheck, but need no healthcare of benefits, the choice for Howard Schultz' replacement is clear. Oh, and to those 10,000 refugees who had hoped to get a job at Starbucks, our condolences.

Watch "Gordon" in action here:

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Xando's picture

No more baristas? What are you supposed to do now with an Art History degreee????

Kagemusho's picture

Damn, we're getting closer to "In The Year 2525" all the time:


foxenburg's picture

I live in Spain and am likely to pull off the road, somewhere, once a day. I usually look for very slightly shabby hotels with a bar/restaurant sign that are found on every roadside throughout the country. The bar will always be large and smell good - of coffee and tortilla espanola. There will be a friendly, solicitous barmen/barwomen who will take my order, asking how hot I want my cafe con leche, for example. In a cup or a glass (always a glass). If my smile is sufficiently appealing he/she will slip me a free slice of cake. I loaf around for ten minutes & use the immaculate restrooms. I like watching the barmen/women interact with the patrons, striving to make each other happy. The cafe will cost no more than €1.50 ($2). I enjoy tipping &  enjoy the human intercourse. The experience lifts me & puts me in a good mood. I can't imagine a robot fulfilling the role.


gdpetti's picture

Soon they won't need workers, and soon they won't need customers, because soon, they will all be broke and out of business.

Land Snark's picture

You enjoy the human interaction. More and more are not. Our social media bots have de-humanized many to the point that it's not worth their time to intereract. Look at the Japanese. You can't pay them to have sex! Been to a coffee shop lately? Most of these snowflakes don't want to be there much less talk to you. I'd rather tip the robot ... if it had some nice tits. That's coming soon no doubt.

DEMIZEN's picture

why would barista need a hand to mix a drink?

DEMIZEN's picture

An i agree, id rather have a robot mix me a drink. It wont water it down. These snowflake baristas dont say hello dont throw a joke, fuckup a drink and still expect you to tip them.

rsnoble's picture

Greed for higher profits will be our final undoing as tech is getting to the point of replacing much everything.   A fast get rich scheme for now, diminishing returns and an 'oh fuck' moment at some point in the future.  Just like now lmao, just faster.  Lots think they wont be affected like the heating and air guys.  Yeah your job maybe too complex but last time i checked robots dont need to be a comfy 70f all the time.  Either fast track universal income or plan on dieing.  It will be a huge race to the bottom with millions of destroyed lives before anything is done.  Dont believe a fucking word any of them say.

ModernMusket's picture

What, no surly liberal homo dude snidely serving me my coffee while bitching about Trump? Sign me up.

DemandSider's picture

"Greed for higher profits will be our final undoing as tech is getting to the point of replacing much everything."

If it did, it'd be the first time in history technology caused a net loss of jobs. Everyone who has been duped by the MBAs and neoliberals,do yourselves a favor, start checking country of origin labels on ANY high tech device you see. Then get back to us with your results. Don't believe the neoliberal Luddites; technology does not cause unemployment, OUTSOURCING does.

onmail1's picture

Fine fine fine

Why not give universal basic income to all

Since there'd be no jobs left

Imagine a situation:

Factories make robots
Industries buy robots
robots make products
ppl have no money,
so no one buys products

Industries threaten to collapse
Banks threaten to close

Both demand more money from govt
QE again

& ppl
bah, forget the ppl
Industries & banks fill their pockets with money
ppl are sheeple , make them soldier's
if they die okeee , less mouths to feed,
if they win , u fill ur pockets

Hah ha

But what if there is no more of the world left to exploit?

Get reborn as cockroaches or rats
wait for evolution to make u intelligent
when u r, repeat the cycle again & again

Hah ha , karma & rebirth