The First ‘Smart’ KFC Identifies Customers by Facial Recognition Technology

China’s first ‘smart’ restaurant is a KFC in Beijing where you are greeted and identified by AI

Is this the future of the fast-food experience?

Imagine walking into a fast-food restaurant, being welcomed by artificial intelligence that is able to identify your age and gender, and ordering food from a kiosk without ever coming into contact with a real person. It sounds like the distant future, but this is a “smart” restaurant concept that just debuted at a KFC in Beijing.

KFC teamed up with Baidu, the search engine often referred to as “China’s Google,” to create the impressive technology.

“The artificial intelligence-enabled system can recommend menu items based on a customer’s estimated age and mood,” KFC China said in a statement.

According to a press release from Baidu, a male customer in his early 20s might be recommended a crispy chicken hamburger, roasted chicken wings, and a Coke, whereas a woman in her 50s might be offered porridge and soybean milk for breakfast. If you don’t agree with the suggestions, you can order whatever you want on the kiosk interface. You can pay with your phone and then pick up your meal a few moments later from the counter.


A reporter from The Guardian who tried out the technology said the device correctly guessed her gender but was about a decade off with her age.