The past and the future go hand in hand in an old post house that is more than two centuries old in the heart of the Costa del Sol, the popular sale La Butibambaon the Cala de Mijas (Malaga)which a few months ago was incorporated Carmelite, a cute robot waiter with a glass face and cat ears.

Is inn -once upon a time, a regular stop where the couriers, travelers and cattle that traveled the Andalusian coast as it passed through what is now the province of Malaga carried out the change of cavalry and the assignment of postillions- it has never been a typical restaurant, they say those who know its history closely.

Its foundation is even prior to that of the same town, assures EFE its current owner, Francisco Javier Sepulvedaproud to remember that it has passed from generation to generation and that it has always belonged to the same family saga.

It opened its doors back in 1800 at a crossroads near the beach with which it shares its name; Over the years, it gradually adapted and accommodated its activity to the needs of a constantly evolving society.

housed the Post Office’s first delivery station of the spread of Cala de Mijas and also the first tobacconist in the area; today, under its renovated walls, tradition and innovation coexist normally, emphasizes Sepúlveda.

Carmelita serves various dishes.

Carmelita serves various dishes.

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Daniel Perez | EFE


Tin waiters, a diabolical contraption

Those who ran it in its early days could hardly have imagined that one day it would not be reached by horse or mule, but in a cart that no one pulls; and that carrying her orders would not be helped by an agile youngster of flesh and blood, but a tin waiter which the Spanish Inquisition would not have hesitated to describe as a diabolical device.

Carmelite the same he winks at a rosy british tourist while serving him the traditional loin sandwich in house butter, which sing “Happy Birthday” to an ojiplático kid who doesn’t know whether to blow out the candles or play with the robot that brought him the cake.

If you touch his head he tells you to be careful because his hair falls out.; if you caress his ears, he is ticklish; and if you entertain her a lot, she gets angry and tells you that she is going to work, ”she details with a laugh.

Customers have welcomed her “with impressive affection”, says Sepúlveda, who has handed over the control of La Butibamba to his son Francisco Jesús, a degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Malaga and manager of the family business, to whom he attributes the merit of technological innovations.

Efficiency in the room to the rhythm of ‘La Macarena’

Beyond the curious and fun of seeing how a robot brings food to the table to the rhythm of The Macarenais “very effective in the room since has four large trays and he can only carry the entire order for a table of eight or ten people in one trip”, indicates Francisco Jesús.

In this way “the dishes arrive at their place at the same time and everyone diners receive food at the same timeinstead of one by one, which improves the service and the customer is more satisfied”, he adds.

Not only “speeds up the work” of the waiterwho allows to be more aware of the human part and dealing with the diner, but “it takes away races from here to there and avoids injuries that can occur when carrying heavy dishes on a daily basis,” adds the manager of La Butibamba and insists that he is an assistant, not a substitute .

Turned to one more attraction of the restaurantcustomers like Sandra Rodríguez – who had never seen a robot waiter before – confesses that she has felt very surprised, although “happy as a girl with her new toy”, and promises to return with friends to celebrate her anniversary.

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