Path: Sino-US >> Business>> Companies >>
Pizza Hut begins using robots as waiters in Shanghai outlet

Pizza Hut's concept outlet PH+ in Shanghai Photo: thatsmags.com

Pizza Hut, a brand operated by US fast food giant Yum Brands, has opened an "intelligent outlet" in the Chinese city of Shanghai, where customers are served by robots and can have fun with smart devices, amid growing application of artificial intelligence and high technologies in various industries ranging from restaurants and fashion shops to commercial banks and media organizations.

Located in a bustling business zone in Shanghai's Jingan district, the Pizza Hut outlet is staffed by two robots which are responsible for delivering meals and drinks to diners.

The two robots have helped the restaurant save human resources by half, the Q Daily, a Chinese online media focusing on business, technology and lifestyle, quoted the head of the outlet as saying.

The robots, which are invented by Yunji Technology - financially backed by Internet giant Tencent, have the capability to avoid obstacles and design delivery routes, said the Q Daily report. Yunji Technology has developed several robot models which are widely used in restaurants, hotels and exhibition halls. According to the website of the technology startup, the robot serving at the Pizza Hut outlet is also capable of introducing menus to customers via a screen and has the function of voice interaction.

There is an entertainment zone called "magic graffiti" in the outlet, where pictures of cartoon characters that customers color with crayons or via a mini program can turn into animated live photos on the wall through image recognition and projection. More characters will be added to cater to the taste of young lovers, a staff told the Q Daily.

Customers can conveniently order food through a picture projected on the wall, which allows all the diners around the table to see the menu clearly. The only thing they can do to finish the ordering is using a finger to press the button on the projected picture.

Pizza Hut's attempt to connect high technologies with restaurants dates back to 2016, when it opened a new concept outlet called PH+ in Shanghai's Lujiazui area, which is staffed by a robot serving as usher. The robot greets guests at the gate by making electronic beeping sounds and saying a few words, and then leads them to their table.

In March last year, Pizza Hut launched a "smart outlet" in Beijing's Wudaokou region, which uses an intelligent mirror capable of testing bone density as a stunt to attract customers. The technology is provided by Lenovo, a Chinese computer maker.

Pizza Hut is pinning hopes on high technologies to increase its popularity among Chinese consumers who are more inclined to choose healthier food rather than fast food, amid a slowdown in same-store sales since 2014.

The application of artificial intelligence robots and full automation in workplaces has become a hot topic in China, and has captured public imagination about how convenient daily lives will be with the help of these cutting-edge technologies.

In April, reports of China Construction Bank, one of the big four state-owned banks in the country, launching an unmanned bank branch in Shanghai caught public attention, while triggering fears among employees in the banking sector about losing their jobs to human-like robots and automated machines. Hailed as the first such bank in China, the Shanghai branch is run by robots and state-of-the-art technologies including facial recognition, voice navigation, holographic projection, virtual reality and augmented reality.

But in some cases, these technologies can rejoice customers, especially women addicted to buying clothes. In December, Denmark's Bestseller Fashion Group, in partnership with Tencent, opened its first two smart fashion shops in China, where consumers can enjoy tailored dress collocation services by simply scanning their faces to a computer screen. It can be considered as a move by Tencent to show the power of its intelligent retail strategy driven by high technologies.


Related Stories
Share this page
Touched Sympathetic Bored Angry Amused Sad Happy No comment

Pizza Hut begins using robots as waiters in Shanghai outletUS finalizing deal to help revive China's ZTEChina offered to buy $70 billion of US agriculture, energy products: reportNew China policies spark disarray in region's recycling industryChina to investigate alleged tax evasion in film industryAlibaba-owned food delivery service to use drones for deliveries in ShanghaiTensions between Tencent and Toutiao grow amid lawsuitsShortage of drug brings pain to breast cancer patients in ChinaUS bombers fly by contested islands amid rising tensions with ChinaChina counts on sternest vehicle emission regulation to cut air pollution
< Prev Next >