Artificial Intelligence

AI-powered fast-food revolution for the likes of Taco Bell and KFC

3rd April 2024
Paige West

Yum Brands, the parent company of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, and Habit Burger Grill, is pioneering an “AI-powered” future for the fast-food industry.

Under the leadership of Joe Park, the newly appointed Chief Digital and Technology Officer, the company is significantly ramping up its investment in technology and automation to reshape its operations, according to an article on the Wall Street Journal.

Approximately 45% of Yum's sales, amounting to about $30 billion, now come from digital channels. This marks a substantial increase from around 2019, when digital sales constituted roughly half this figure. Park, who took the helm of his current role in March, succeeding Clay Johnson, now a senior adviser, has been a pivotal figure in Yum's technological evolution since joining the company in 2020. Initially serving as the Chief Innovation Officer, Park later moved to Pizza Hut Global as Chief Digital and Technology Officer, where he played a crucial role in deploying Dragontail, an AI-based kitchen management and delivery platform.

With a vision that sees artificial intelligence permeating every facet of Yum’s restaurants, Park is particularly excited about the potential of generative AI, the technology that powers solutions like ChatGPT. He envisages a scenario where this advanced AI technology becomes an indispensable tool for franchisees, effectively acting as a digital assistant in their pockets.

A testament to this vision is the development of Yum’s SuperApp. Described by Park as “a coach in your pocket,” this mobile application is designed to assist restaurant managers in tracking and managing operations seamlessly. Currently undergoing tests to integrate generative AI, the app aims to simplify decision-making for team members on tasks such as setting oven temperatures, thereby negating the need to consult training materials or navigate through complex app interfaces.

The SuperApp is already operational in over 8,700 Pizza Hut and KFC locations, serving as a centralised platform for franchisees to manage ordering ingredients and scheduling shifts. Additionally, the app's functionality continues to expand, with new features like an augmented reality tool aimed at educating employees on preparing new menu items, such as the Pizza Hut Melts.

Beyond internal operations, Yum is also exploring generative AI's potential to enhance customer experience. Initiatives include the deployment of voice AI for drive-through orders and the use of image-recognition AI to monitor drive-through queues and wait times. Furthermore, the company is investigating the integration of digital technology with kitchen appliances to streamline cooking and preparation processes. 






Product Spotlight

Upcoming Events

View all events
Latest global electronics news
© Copyright 2024 Electronic Specifier