Let’s Talk About That Automatic Bartender

Ok, so it’s about time we addressed the thing that we’ve been seeing a lot of posts about recently, despite it being a thing for quite some time now:

The Automatic Bartender.

This is a contentious subject with hundreds upon thousands of bartenders across social media lamenting the loss of the human touch and having yet more people replaced by machines”. Both of those points are correct to a degree, but the concept of the automatic bartender depends deeply upon exactly which type of robo barman you’re in the market for.

The one product that is FUCKING EVERYWHERE is the Somabar.

All seems pretty bog standard terrible clichè advertising so far. Let’s take a look at their website:

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“We have a passion for cocktails. So we spent the last three years designing the robotic bartender we always wanted in our own kitchens. We’ve been obsessed with three principles: Performance, Perfection and Price. As a result, Somabar delivers mouthwatering bitters infused cocktails in under 5 seconds and is priced the same as an affordable smart appliance.”

Now, it’s the “robotic bartender we always wanted in our own kitchens”. It’s labelled as being, “The world’s first app controlled robotic bartending appliance created for the home kitchen.” See those important words? HOME KITCHEN. It’s designed to be put into someone’s kitchen. It’s not designed to be put into a bar and have 15,000 of you lose your jobs because “Skynet’s taking over”.

We’re bartenders. We’re assuming you might be one too. People drinking more cocktails is a good thing. There hasn’t been a mass up-in-arms social media revolt because people are buying wine and beer to drink at home, so why has there been one now involving cocktails?

We will agree that this could cause an upsurge in the comments,“that’s not how my home bartender makes them”, but this type of comment is rife within the general public anyway. It’s just like adding a box of matches to a big fuck off fire: yes, you haven’t helped it, but your barn’s still fucked.

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If you want that creativity and the smile and that magical concoction, get out of your kitchen and go to a bar. It’s that simple. THIS IS A KITCHEN APPLIANCE. You don’t look at your coffee machine or kettle and say: “but what about the times when I don’t know what I want? Am I supposed to just not have anything? Goddammit, machines, you pricks.”

We do, however, have a lot of beef with this complete waste of space of a tagline:

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That needs to fuck off. It needs to pack up its bags, tell its children it’s just popping down to the shops for some milk and bread, migrate to Spain, set up a small orange stall with its underage lover and declare itself officially dead. Fucking prick. She can fuck off as well with that smile DAD WHY DID YOU LEAVE US???

The products you really need to be aiming your hatred at is the automatic bartenders that are being developed to specifically replace the people that stand behind the bar. They’re the real dicks. They’re the actual fuckos who deserve your attention. Not a bloody kitchen appliance.

We’re not sponsored by the Somabar, btw. Just in-case you thought we might have been.

Products like the failed 2015 kickstarter, Foxtender, that intended to ACTUALLY replace bartenders because people were sick of waiting in a queue:

Horrifically ignorant people were getting sick of waiting for longer than 10 seconds for their human bartender to finish taking everyone’s orders. We’re fucking annoyed by this and so fucking ecstatic that it failed. You should never shit on someone’s dreams, but fuck this guy and fuck his idea. Fuck his stupid fucking idea that replaces waiting at a bar for waiting in front of a machine that only works as quickly as the people operating it and can only make one drink at time. We’re glad you failed. The world doesn’t need your stupid, shitty, obnoxious bullshit. (y)

There’s also that one time a cruise ship used robot bartenders to serve people. It was a big old robot that made drinks specific to orders and even knocked cups out the holders if they weren’t placed in properly and replaced it with a cup that was. ISN’T THAT FUN? Here’s an extract from the article:

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There’s a few things we need to pull from this before we finish up, The bar was calm, there was no need for a five-deep crush around the bartenders”, this statement says more about the way in which the general public acts when they’re at a bar than it does about the human bartender that’s serving these stampeding, apparently chronically thirsty, customers. The same is true of the words: “elbows in your ribs and a fight to get to the front” , this is merely indicative of how the CUSTOMER acts when queuing.

The ignorant fighting and shouting and clicking of fingers is of course de-funct when the idiots doing it realise that a robot has the capability of ignoring the fuck out of you and carrying on with their job and they can’t “speak to your manager”.

Oh, and perhaps the best sentence of them all? the drinks themselves lacked substance or class in both taste and appearance.” It turns out that robots don’t have tastebuds. Who knew? If you want to read that whole article about how great but actually not great the robot bartending things are: Click Here, you’ll get to see how fucking stupidly complicated the ordering system is and essentially why robot bartenders will never become a fully fledged thing (if they already are – we’re looking at you, Japan – then the world’s fucked and everyone should just give up).

See. Those are the type of things you should be getting angry at. Not someone’s home cocktail coffee machine. We know you’re going to get angry anyway. That’s just who you are, but think for a second: there’s a reason the Somabar reached its funding level within a second. There’s a demand for it. If drinking wine at home needed a kickstarter it would reach its target a day before it even went live. You’re not going to be out of job.

Yes, human bartenders are 100% better than robot bartenders. If anyone assumes otherwise then they’re dicks, so trust us: You’ll be fine… Just as long as our friend over at Foxtender doesn’t pop up again with his “cool looking, no water pipe” contraption anytime soon.


Main IMG: Dick Thomas Johnson | flikr

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