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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Sushi serving robot rolls around Fushi Yami

A sushi serving robot, Mushroom, is serving guests at Fushi Yami. The robot was introduced to the sushi restaurant in “mid October.” (Tim Dodge | Northern Star)

DeKALB – Fushi Yami has introduced a new employee: a 5-foot robot named Mushroom. 

Mushroom has four trays behind a black screen that displays a smile while it works. When riding through the restaurant, the robot visits tables where customers can simply take their order from its trays.

Brian Chin, manager of Fushi Yami, said the robot came from a distributor in Chicago and made its first appearance at the restaurant around mid-October.

Although it’s only been on the job for a bit over a month, Mushroom has been getting a lot of attention from customers. Employees said that since the robot joined the team, they’ve experienced an increase in business, almost double prior to the introduction of the robot.

Jasmine Fraiser, an employee at Fushi Yami, said Mushroom is simply there to help the rest of the team.

Basically, the robot serves the other customers so we don’t have to go out as often. So, it avoids conflict,” Fraiser said. “We put the dishes on the robot, and we book a table number. So each table has a number, and the robot will go to it and then he’ll come back to us.”

However, the robot was not a cheap addition to the restaurant. Mushroom cost approximately $5,000, Chin said. 

Chin said Mushroom is the first serving robot in DeKalb.

“It’s interesting because it’s the first, and that’s why we thought it could bring more business,” Chin said.

Fraiser said the robot has made work at the restaurant run much smoother since its arrival.

“It’s easier on all the front workers, so we’re not always rushing out. We can put it on the tray, we can have a little downtime, we can restock more. It eases off the workload,” Fraiser said.

The robot serves dine-in customers throughout the week. For those who would like to see Mushroom in action, visit Fushi Yami located at 822 W. Lincoln Highway. 

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