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KFC store in Beijing uses robots to sell chicken

Business Lexington

Consumers in Beijing can now order their Kentucky Fried Chicken without interacting with a single human, at the restaurant chain's first artificial intelligence-enabled store in the Chinese capital.

According to reports from the state-run China Daily, customers at the new store, located in the Financial Street area of Beijing, can have their picture taken by a machine, which will register the person's sex, age and amood. The machine will recommend food items and meal options and complete the ordering process. The machine will also be able to recognize customers if they return for another visit, calling up the consumer's previous purchase history and dining preferences.

The new restaurant, which opened at the end of December, was created through a partnership of Baidu Inc., China's largest search engine, and the KFC affiliate of Yum China Holdings, Inc. KFC debuted the use of artificial intelligence in its chain restaurants in Shanghai in April, when it opened its first Chinese smart restaurant equipped with robotic ordering service. The company reportedly plans to further expand its smart restaurants to offer more enhanced dining experiences for consumers in the future.

Yum Brands Inc., which had operated more than 7,200 restaurants in China, spun off its China business at the end of October.

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