How Restaurants Are Incorporating DIY Services Into Their Experience
From creating customer profiles to using facial recognition to let customers pay with their face, the food industry is finding new and creative ways to improve their services and give customers greater agency
As restaurants reposition themselves as a gateway to additional lifestyle, immersive and family-oriented experiences that help complement the expected meal, they are integrating innovative designs and atypical features that equip guests with tools that encourage them to dine on their own personal terms.
In particular, high-tech restaurants are integrating self-checkouts that encourage customers to have control over their meal ordering and payment process, enhancing the diner’s experience through efficiency. Here’s how three franchises are upping their game using expedited and digital forms of payment:
Shake Shack introduced self-checkout kiosks at its Astor Place location to offload workers and speed up the ordering process for customers. Along with the kiosks, patrons will be able to order via smartphone—and even receive a text message when their order is ready for pick up. This location will be cashless in an effort to see if it allows customers to have a more seamless experience when ordering out. Once it opens, the restaurant’s success will determine if they continue to move forward with this route in other locations.
This California burger chain allows customers to place orders and pay using their face, leveraging AI kiosks that can identify the customer and locate their past order preferences. After customers enter the locations and order at a kiosk, the machines scan and recognize the users’ faces, along with their customer profiles, allergies and rewards status. Customers then swipe through a list of items they’ve previously ordered, allowing them to complete the ordering processes in a matter of seconds. While customers can still order at the counter and pay with cash or credit card, the face-pay system is designed to attract loyal customers who want a safe, secure and speedy checkout process.
Fast food retailer KFC’s China location known as KPro lets customers pay for their meals by using a facial recognition system. Customers place their order at a terminal that scans their face. If the scan matches the image on the photo ID stored in the system, the customer only has to enter his or her phone number and the payment goes through. Then, a KFC employee serves the ordered meal to the customer. The system is based on Ant Financial’s digital payment platform Alipay, and KFC restaurant was the first physical store in the world to use facial recognition software to take payments.
Facilitating payment and checkout by letting customers do it themselves is just one way that restaurants are innovating to improve their dining experiences. For more information on creativity and trends taking place within the food industry, see PSFK’s report Designing The New Dining Experience.