TOKYO -- A serious labor shortage is plaguing Japan's restaurant industry. As a result, not only are personnel costs climbing, but a lack of sufficient help is also a drag on store management and new store openings.
Securing qualified help is especially difficult in food preparation, an area in which workers with skills and many years of experience are particularly sought-after. To alleviate this problem, technology is being developed that will enable automated food preparation. Progress in such technology could also help bring Japan's culinary culture to the world.