KFC uses facial recognition to offer menu recommendations in China

KFC China and Baidu face recognition smart restaurant
RECOGNITION RECIPE: Customers are scanned and then offered menu recommendations

Fast food chain KFC and Chinese internet giant Baidu have opened a smart restaurant in Beijing’s Financial Street that uses facial recognition to make menu suggestions to new customers based on their gender, age and mood, and recommendations to returning customers based on items they have ordered in the past.

The companies have also placed table stickers in more than 300 Beijing restaurants that, when scanned with a mobile phone using the Mobile Baidu app, let customers play augmented reality games, with the chance to win discounts from KFC’s menu.

“A smart image recognition device at the KFC store scans the face of a customer standing in front of it, reads their facial expressions and identifies features such as gender, age and mood, and recommends menu items that they might particularly enjoy,” Baidu says.

“For example, a male customer in his early 20s may be recommended a set meal of crispy chicken hamburger, roasted chicken wings and cola for lunch, while a female customer in her 50s would be suggested to have porridge and soybean milk for breakfast.

“The image reader also recognises returned customers and helps cut down their order time by proposing items they have ordered in the past.”

The launch of the smart restaurant in Beijing follows Baidu and KFC’s earlier launch of Duer, a smart robot powered by artificial intelligence technology designed to serve customers and take food orders using speech recognition and natural language processing.

  • Willam Hugh Murray, CISSP

    No enrollment necessary. When ready for payments, payment method can be automatically associated with image/identity; consent equals enrollment. Will work well for locations with high percentage of return customers. Will work well for cafeterias in businesses.