SHANGHAI -- Yum China Holdings, Inc. continues to introduce digitally enabled initiatives at KFC stores in China to enhance the customer experience, drive growth and optimize operational efficiency. Recent initiatives include the introduction of AI-powered self-ordering digital kiosks, a fully automated dessert station and the launch of a future store that integrates the Company's digital technologies to offer customers a more convenient and immersive digital experience. Yum China also announced that it has extended the use of "Smile-to-Pay" facial recognition payment technology to more than 300 KFC stores across the country.
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Joey Wat, CEO of Yum China, said, "Digital is transforming the restaurant industry and we are excited to test cutting-edge technologies at scale and bring new experiences to our customers. We are using technology to redefine every touch point of the customer journey. With our in-store technology applications, KFC and Pizza Hut Super Apps and partnerships with leading technology partners, we have created a powerful digital ecosystem that offers a seamless experience for our customers whether they are on mobile, online or dining in restaurants. We will continue to explore the latest technologies to create unique dining experiences and offer our customers more convenient and personalized services."
AI-powered self-ordering kiosks
At Alibaba Cloud's 2018 Computing Conference in Hangzhou in September, KFC and Alibaba jointly announced the launch of an AI-powered self-ordering kiosk offering customers a unique and efficient way of navigating and ordering food from KFC's menu. The self-ordering kiosks also reduce waiting times and improve operational efficiency.
"Smile to Pay" facial recognition payment rolled out to over 300 KFC restaurants
Yum China introduced Alipay's "Smile to Pay" facial recognition payment technology at its KPRO by KFC restaurant in Hangzhou in 2017. "Smile to Pay" enables customers to pay for their orders at digital kiosks without having to reach for their wallets, offering a more convenient ordering experience. Following positive customer feedback, the technology has now been rolled out to over 300 KFC restaurants across the country.
KFC unveils fully automated dessert station in Suzhou
KFC recently launched its first fully automated dessert station in Suzhou, China. After customers scan a QR code and select one of three flavors of ice cream, the robotic arm scoops and serves the ice cream into a cone. Yum China intends to test the automated dessert station at other locations. Dessert is a key growth driver for KFC, and as of September 30, 2018, customers were able to order from over 1,000 KFC dessert kiosks across China.
KFC launches a future store in Hangzhou
KFC also unveiled a new concept in Hangzhou - a future store that provides customers with an immersive dining experience, integrating Yum China's digital technologies across every step of the journey, from self-ordering kiosks to digital and mobile payment solutions. Dedicated staff are also available to assist customers as they engage with the technology embedded at the store.
The future store is targeted at young, "New Generation" customers and features an open, transparent store layout. The store also features a dedicated tea and dessert bar, KBAR, which includes an assortment of made-to-order dessert items, as well as fresh juice and specialty tea drinks, catering to increasing appetite for personalized service and menu items.
SOURCE Yum China Holdings, Inc.
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