KFC's Chinese division is partnering with local search giant Baidu to create a new smart restaurant in Beijing that employs facial recognition technology to make menu suggestions based on a customer's facial expressions. The restaurant's ordering kiosks, powered by Baidu's AI technology, will be able to scan customers' faces and make recommendations about what they might order based on factors such as age, gender and facial expression.
Baidu said in a press release that a male customer in his early twenties might be recommended a "crispy chicken hamburger, roasted chicken wings and coke" meal for lunch while a female in her fifties would probably get a recommendation of "porridge and soybean milk for breakfast."
While some customers may not be pleased with the recommended suggestions, they will be able to override the AI, if they should so choose, to pick their preferred meal.
The system will also have built-in recognition software to store customers' images along with a person's order to remember what you ordered before and suggest a few past favourites, TechCrunch reports.
The restaurant also offers augmented reality (AR) games through table stickers, which is currently available at 300 other KFC locations across Beijing as well. However, the facial recognition technology is currently only offered at this smart restaurant located in Beijing.
"Our innovations make use of the cutting-edge technologies and they will help to attract young consumers who prefer fashionable new things", the general manager of Beijing KFC Zhao Li said, China Daily reports. "The digitalization of the restaurant will also help to provide faster and easier services.
"We believe that the restaurant dining experiences must continue to upgrade. With 5,000 stores in China, we plan to expand such services nationwide soon, to adapt to the digital age and enable more consumers to experience enjoyable ordering experiences."
This isn't the first time KFC has implemented some innovative, tech-savvy ideas for its outlets.
In May, KFC opened the world's first human-free fast food restaurant, Original+, in Shanghai where AI-powered robots named Dumi handle orders and process payments.
As part of an advertising campaign in Germany the same month, KFC released a thin, rechargeable wireless keyboard called the KFC Tray Typer that can connect to a customer's smartphone via Bluetooth and lets them text with their fingers without getting their screen greasy.
During the summer, the fast-food chain launched a new innovative meal box called Watt a Box in India that comes with an inbuilt power bank to charge your smartphone while you munch on some crispy grub.