Smiles Pay the Bill for Diners at KPRO by KFC in China
Smile, you’re on “Smile to Pay” camera!
Yum China’s recently opened KPRO by KFC restaurant in Hangzhou, the hometown of e-commerce giant Alibaba, integrated Alipay’s new facial recognition payment technology into its operation on September 1. The system utilizes a multi-step authentication process, including a facial scan and mobile phone number, to verify clientele identity and facilitate payment of premium Cremia ice cream, roasted chicken, salmon and crayfish sandwiches, salads, fruit juice, coffee, craft beer and other menu items – all without customers having to bother to reach into their wallets for legal tender or credit cards.
Diners no longer have to line up at a cash register counter to place orders. Instead, they can skip the queue by making selections at digital kiosks or by simply using their smart phones to scan QR codes. Thereafter orders will be quickly prepared and delivered to their tables.
“We are excited to launch KPRO, a new concept for young, tech-savvy consumers who are keen to embrace new tastes and innovations,” said Joey Wat, president and chief operating officer of Yum China. “Developed to cater to China’s burgeoning population of urban professionals, KPRO offers a creative, modern and seasonal menu with a wide range of dishes. The restaurant is made for digitally connected customers and integrates some of the latest technologies from mobile ordering to facial recognition payment.”
“Yum China has a history of adopting innovative technologies to enhance in-store dining experiences, and we could think of no better place to pilot this advanced technology. Smile to Pay will bring another level of convenience for customers,” said Jidong Chen, director of biometric identification technology at Ant Financial, which operates the Alipay mobile and online payments platform.
“Elevating the customer experience through new design, flavors and technologies has always been central to our approach at KFC in China,” said Johnson Huang, KFC’s general manager. “We are excited to partner with Alipay to bring the world’s first commercial application of the facial recognition payment solution to our customers. KPRO customers can experience this ground breaking technology while enjoying tasty meals prepared in our open kitchen.”
About Yum China
Yum China Holdings, Inc. is the licensee of Louisville, Kentucky, USA-headquartered Yum! Brands in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) since 1987. It has exclusive rights in mainland China to KFC, which has been operating there since 1987 and ranks as the PRC’s No. 1 quick-service restaurant brand. Other businesses include Pizza Hut, the leading casual dining restaurant brand in China, and Taco Bell, which opened its first restaurant in the PRC at the end of 2016. Yum China also owns the Little Sheep and East Dawning concepts outright.
The company has more than 7,600 restaurants, of which over 5,000 are KFC units, and employed approximately 420,000 people in over 1,100 cities at the end of May 2017. A new generation of younger consumers who are digitally sophisticated and brand driven are fueling growth in consumption in China.