Tech Effect – How Wearable Payment Technology, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are affecting customer service the fast-food sector. Coming to a Chippie near you…
Advances in technology have affected all aspects of the quick serve industry, from marketing to point of sale, but customer service is perhaps the area where the changes have been most noticeable.
Wearable payment technology is already here with the sight of customers paying directly from their phone or watch becoming commonplace. In the future facial recognition and voice recognition will assist in ordering in restaurants.
Already home AI assistants such Alexa are simplifying the ordering process – you can just ask your assistant: ‘Alexa, order the same take away we got last time from Just Eat‘ – this short cut can benefit the restaurant by encouraging repeat business.
Virtual Reality technology is making an impact on the restaurant sector with customers being able to tour restaurants virtually before visiting and staff getting training through the technology. This can save the business money by allowing staff to train in the restaurant ‘virtually’ without traveling to the physical location.
KFC have a frankly terrifying VR training game, also available to customers, where potential employees are trapped in a kitchen with a VR Colonel Saunders and can’t escape until they prepare the chicken in exactly the way the Colonel wants it.
“We shared … just how meticulous the colonel was about his chicken, and so the idea of a secret training kitchen where the colonel wouldn’t let you leave until you made his chicken the right way—the hard way—quickly rose to the top,” says KFC’s director of advertising George Felix.
Other restaurants are using VR to enhance the customer’s experience. With the headset on they can be in a Tuscan Villa for the first course and beside an underwater coral reef with tropical fish swimming around them for the second.
Augmented reality is another new technology being pioneered by brands such as Starbucks. In their flagship Shanghai roastery customers can use the augmented reality app on their phones to explore the way the company produces their coffee.