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Taco Bell, KFC, & Pizza Hut Will Use AI for Meal Prep
May. 29, 2024
Taco Bell, KFC, & Pizza Hut Will Use AI for Meal Prep

Taco Bell, KFC, & Pizza Hut Will Use AI for Meal Prep

QSR titans Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut are starting to integrate the power of generative AI. Yum Brands, the parent company of the three, has introduced their upgraded SuperApp. This employee-facing tool consolidates tasks previously done using other methods or software, such as guidance for order prep, shift scheduling, and more into one purpose-built app.

Here’s everything we know so far about Yum’s AI-powered SuperApp and what it can do.

What Is Yum Brand’s SuperApp?

Yum’s vision for the future of their restaurants is one that heavily involves generative AI. They plan to lean on the technology to cut corners, and speed up or automate processes wherever they can.

First developed in 2019, the company has been refining the app over the past few years to include more functionality and be able to replace a handful of other apps or tools. This go-to app for employees and managers could someday include all of the functionality needed on the software side to run one of the brand’s franchises.

Yum’s SuperApp is already in use at over 8,700 stores. For a fee, franchise owners can gain access to SuperApp and use it to streamline processes and reduce costs.

What Can Yum Brand’s SuperApp Do?

One of the most notable of SuperApp’s AI functions is its voice control. Kitchen staff can interact with the app in a variety of ways using only their voices. The app can process verbal commands, and respond in intelligent ways. It can explain to staff members things like how to make the current order they need to prepare, and include extra tips and details.

Employees can simply ask the app anything they need to know, such as what temperature the oven should be. Chief digital and technology officer at Yum Brands, Joe Park, calls it “a coach in your pocket”.

SuperApp can also replace much of the software being used for things like clocking in, requesting days off, and with the help of generative AI, it should be able to learn how to do much more than that.

How Else Is AI Being Used in QSRs?

Yum, along with its competitors, is testing AI to enhance the drive-thru experience for customers. They plan to speed up and personalize drive-thru orders with AI voice recognition, and image recognition to identify vehicles or license plates.

Image recognition can be used to count cars in line and give estimated wait times to customers as they approach in their vehicles.

Once they reach the ordering area, AI can recognize repeat customers, provide personalized greetings, recall their previous orders, and even curtail specials and offers to fit their tastes. The data gathered with each interaction can automatically be added to their customer profile, allowing for an even more curtailed customer experience.

AI could be used to offer dynamic pricing, something that Wendy’s has already been criticized for. That’s why Yum’s brands need to be careful how they incorporate AI into the customer experience and learn from others’ mistakes.

Will QSRs Use Robots to Prepare Food?

At this point, we’re still a long while away from having AI-powered robots working in the backs of QSRs. According to Joe Park, the need for human workers will always be there. And at this point, AI is simply a supplement, not a replacement for any of the current roles at a Taco Bell, KFC, or Pizza Hut.

For the foreseeable future, things will be much the same in QSRs as they’ve been in the past—just with more efficient software and automation tools on their side.