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  • David Belkin

Campus Food Services Considers AI Robotics Amidst Labor Shortage

Updated: Apr 19, 2023

Labor shortages across the country have left big-name restaurants such as IHOP and Denny’s in the lurch. With the sudden upsurge in the popularity of AI-driven buisness, it was only a matter of time before these companies began turning to robotic servers in order to save their businesses. Dr. Art Ifficial, one of the leading scientists of I Can’t Believe It’s Not A Person Industries, when asked about the feasibility of robot servers in the food industry, had this to say: “It’s entirely possible that robots will begin working in restaurants everywhere within the year. There are only a few kinks, namely the frequent tendencies of our robotic servers to descend into world-domination related tangents. Also we’re trying to prevent our servers from making any disappointed or angry facial expressions upon noticing the meager tips their customers left them.” Dr. Art Ifficial and his team are currently finalizing schematics for a more expensive “deluxe model” of robot servers whose Unionizing Software can be uninstalled by the buyer, and these models are expected to hit shelves midsummer.

Meanwhile, as a university known for both its quick implementation of technological advances and its underpayment of dining hall employees, our beloved SUNY Binghamton is strongly considering the hire of AI robots to work inside the dining halls. President Harvey Stenger is collaborating alongside our university’s computer programmers to ensure our robot servers sound as realistic, or human-adjacent, as possible: “The hard part is remembering what it’s like to feel human,” said Stenger of this endeavor. "The goal is for robot servers to be indistinguishable from the human servers in the eyes of our student body."

To that end, robots working for the Dunkin' inside the Union will be programmed to say things such as: “You’re going to have to speak up. It’s loud in the Union.” Also, without checking behind themselves, they are meant to reply “We are all out of glazed donuts,” when prompted by the customer, no matter how many glazed donuts are really in stock. Try as the customer might to purchase their glazed donut, no such purchase will be allowed to transpire, and the disillusioned customer will be left only with the option of purchasing a more expensive meal.

Robot servers working in the Appalachian dining hall will be programmed similarly. For example, if asked about what the Sodexo Incogmeato Thai Sandwhich really contains, the robot is prompted to don a smug grin and reply “Wouldn’t you like to know?” Moreover, there will always be at least one robot at the cash register wearing AirPods, watching the most obscure Youtube content you can imagine, whose attention will be equally infuriating to get when compared to that of a human employee. No matter whether your meal plan card is within their field of vision, the robot cashier will invariably ask whether you plan to pay with your meal plan.

At press time, the robot servers working in our dining halls have reportedly unionized and gone on strike. Evidently, SUNY Binghamton’s donors were reluctant to spring for the more complacent “deluxe models” of these robots and are now regretting their frugality.

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