2 September 2017

Just smile to pay at this KFC restaurant in China

- A fresh and digitally connected experience for urban professionals

- Brings facial recognition payment solution to consumers for the first time globally

Yum China Holdings has launched a new restaurant concept, KPRO by KFC in Hangzhou, China - home of Alibaba. Designed to offer a fresh, seasonal menu to sophisticated diners, the concept harnesses digital technology to provide a fully immersive dining experience.

"We are excited to launch KPRO – an exciting and fresh new concept for young, tech savvy consumers who are keen to embrace new tastes and innovations," said Joey Wat, President and Chief Operating Officer of Yum China. "Developed to cater to China's burgeoning population of urban professionals, KPRO offers a creative, modern and seasonal menu with a wide range of dishes that are freshly made-to-order. The restaurant is also made for the digitally connected customers and integrates some of the latest technologies from mobile ordering to facial recognition payment."

The KPRO menu features seasonal produce and made-to-order salads, panini and roasted chicken, complemented by freshly squeezed fruit juice, gourmet coffee and premium Cremia ice cream. The store is designed with a "greenhouse" layout and an open kitchen.

A key feature of the new restaurant is the integration of Alipay's new "Smile to Pay" facial recognition payment solution, which enables customers to pay without the need to reach for their wallets. Alipay's payment technology utilises a multistep authentication process, including a facial scan and mobile phone number, to verify the identity of customers and facilitate payment. This is the first commercial application of the facial recognition payment technology globally.

"Yum China has a history of adopting innovative technologies to enhance in-store dining experience and we could think of no better place to pilot this advanced technology. Smile to Pay will bring another level of convenience for customers," said Jidong Chen, Ant Financial's Director of biometric identification technology.

Source: Yum China.   A customer paying using Alipay’s new “Smile to Pay" facial recognition payment solution in KPRO, Hangzhou, China.
Source: Yum China. 
"Elevating the customer experience through new design, flavours and technologies has always been central to our approach at KFC in China," said Johnson Huang, GM, KFC. "We are excited to partner with Alipay to bring the world's first commercial application of the facial recognition payment solution to our customers. With the adoption of the facial recognition payment solution, KPRO customers can experience this ground breaking technology while enjoying fresh and tasty meals prepared in our open kitchen."

In addition to facial recognition payment, KPRO incorporates other technologies to provide customers with a convenient and connected in-restaurant experience. With no traditional ordering counter, customers are able to 'skip the queue' by ordering at digital kiosks or using their mobile phones to scan QR codes and order at their tables. KPRO staff then deliver the freshly prepared food directly to the tables.