By Mike Pomranz
Updated December 30, 2015
Credit: © Getty Images

You already talk to your friends and family through chat apps on your phone. A restaurant in China decided to keep cutting human contact out of your life and have you order your food with an app as well.

Some American chain restaurants like Olive Garden have turned to tablets called Ziosks to let customers order and pay, but waiters still come around to give you a rundown on the specials and make sure your never ending breadsticks remain never ending. That is not what’s going on in China. CNN recently dropped in on Renrenxiang, a hot lunch spot in Beijing that has replaced servers with We Chat, China’s most popular messaging app. Patrons simply walk into the restaurant, order their meal through the app on their phone, wait for their number to be called and grab their own meal from the kitchen. There’s no human interaction whatsoever, outside of maybe nodding to the cook who made your order or asking another diner, “Is this seat taken?”

The founder of Rexrenxiang told a reporter, “There will be four ‘no’s’ in the restaurant – that is, no waitress, no cashier, no merchandiser and no chef.” He didn’t elaborate on that last point. I’m pretty sure once you reach the “no chef” stage, you’re running a glorified grocery store. Maybe things got lost in translation? Maybe Chinese to English translator is one position they shouldn’t fill a computer.