Man versus machine is no contest

By Gillian McKenzie

WHEN reports emerged some months back that a robot bartender named Carl was ‘working’ in a bar in Germany, it got me thinking.

Yes, technology has – and continues to – develop at a frighteningly quick pace (don’t get me started on self-scanner tills in supermarkets).
But have we really got to the stage where robots can replace humans in bars and restaurants?
Of course not.
People are what Scotland’s licensed trade is all about.
Without the raconteurs in bars, restaurants and hotels the length and breadth of the country, Scotland would not have its reputation for world-class hospitality.
That’s why a new tourism campaign which aims to promote pubs and the stories behind them is to be welcomed.
A joint initiative between the SLTA, VisitScotland, Tennent’s and Diageo, Scotland’s Pubs and Bars – A Story to Tell will see around 100 venues secure a spot on a dedicated website and app.
A resident ‘storyteller’ will be appointed in each of the outlets to regale customers with tales about the premises – be it a haunted cellar or a famous visitor.
It’s a campaign that aims to showcase the warm welcome for which Scots are known. It also, rightly, promotes Scotland’s bars and restaurants as a key selling point for tourism.
There’s no shortage of raconteurs in Scotland’s licensed trade and I, for one, can’t wait to see their stories brought to life.