KFC Introduces Robot Staff in China

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In one KFC outlet in Shanghai, local fast food fans were robotic service from last week.  ‘Robotic’ – not in terms of unemotional, but Robotic in terms of actual robots serving.  Welcome to the future, and the future is happening here in China.

In a collaboration with local search engine giant Baidu, KFC has introduced Dumi – a customer serving robot in its Shanghai concept store.   Dumi can take orders directly from customers via voice.

The robot is programmed to focus on getting customers’ request right, not become distracted by conversation.  To prove this point, KFC promoted their new ‘robotic’ service by created a conversation between Dumi, the robot, and youth mega-star Lu Han.

160510 KFC Introduces Robot Staff 1

Lu Han tries to chat with Dumi

In their conversation, Lu Han tries to ‘chat’ to Dumi, but she refuses, saying she can only talk if Lu Han orders from her – making her own recommendation of the order he should chose.  Now that is good staff loyalty.

Apart from being highly ‘work conscious’, Dumi has great taste in music.  Patrons at the concept store can, scan a QR code on their table, so they can play Dumi’s favourite track list, directly on their phone.

As part of KFC’s concept store inside the former World Expo pavilion in Shanghai, Dumi is accompanied by other leading edge technologies – such as, as holographic story of how KFC ‘creates’ their famous fried chicken.

KFC is, arguably, one of China’s most innovative brand currently – creating both technological concepts in their stores, as with Dumi the Robot, and creatively with their collaboration with local social network QQ.

About Author

Jerry Clode

Jerry Clode is Head of Digital & Social Insight at Resonance. He leads Resonance SMART, providing leading-edge research, strategy and naming for brands in China using bespoke methodologies. Jerry also produces Resonance's popular China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly publication covering modern marketing methods of the world's top brands.

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