Tyler Jalapeño Tree testing out new robot serving as a hostess

Tyler — TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - In response to worker shortages in restaurants, a small percentage of them are testing out robotic technology to supplement service staff.

Jalapeño Tree in Tyler has been testing out a new robot they named Pepper, serving as a hostess. The robot also has the ability to serve in other functions as well as serving food or taking dirty dishes to the kitchen.

They will be making a decision within the next few weeks if they will purchase the robot, but the general manager, Dave Deffenbaugh, indicated they are leaning towards purchasing it at this point. He said the general consensus among customers has been positive. He also said that the robot will not be replacing employees, but only there to offer relief during a time when they are struggling to get workers.

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Willie Downs

Willie Downs

Willie Downs is a KLTV news reporter and born and raised in East Texas. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Arlington and graduated with honors from the Mass Communication Foundations course at the Defense Information School, as a member of the Air Force Reserve.

Christian Terry

Christian Terry is a digital producer for KLTV 7. He comes to KLTV from KAUZ in Wichita Falls, Texas.