NUMBER OF PEOPLE EMPLOYED NOW: 2,564,610
AUTOMATION ESTIMATE: 94 percent (2,410,733 jobs at current levels)
Restaurant chains such as Chili’s, Applebee’s, and Olive Garden have been asking customers to order their meals on tabletop tablets for a while now. The touchscreen devices are seen as “server assistants,” with human waiters delivering the actual food. More recently, the San Francisco–based quinoa chain Eatsa omitted human interaction entirely, with automated technology that notifies customers when their order has been placed inside a glass cubbyhole. Restaurants in Asia are already using more advanced automation, but mostly for novelty: In China, a sit-down restaurant with robot servers has become a tourist draw (the robots look not unlike Rosie from The Jetsons), while in Japan, a large sushi chain uses a “bullet train” on a track running next to diners’ booths to deliver food.