March 26, 2023

A pioneer in the fast food industry, Yum! is constantly reinventing the restaurant experience both through innovative new menu offerings (Mexican Pizza, anyone) plus cutting-edge digital technology. As a result, they company has been able to weather the COVID-19/supply chain disruption/inflation storm and come out mostly unscaved .  

In part this success is due to the company’s aggressive approach to digital integration. Over the particular past few years, both Taco Bell plus KFC, two of Yum! ’s flagship brands, have sought to create an unified experience across all of its digital platforms and customer touchpoints (i. e. mobile app, delivery, e-commerce, pickup, instore, drive-thru). Here’s a look at the face of those efforts, their next-generation restaurants.  

Years in the making, Taco Bell opened its first digitally-enabled restaurant’s doors in June 2022.    

As documented by The Verge , the entire concept revolves around completing client orders inside under 2 minutes as well as enhance the particular mobile and third-party shipping experience. For example, out of the four drive-thru lanes, only one is devoted to traditional drive-thru ordering. The rest are allocated towards mobile order pick up and third-party delivery drivers working for services like Door Dash, GrubHub, or Uber Eats. The entire pick-up process will be contactless, although two-way audio and video technology lets customers interact directly with Taco Bell employees in real time.

KFC has also redesigned its locations, both visually and physically to deliver a “contactless” customer experience. These changes include installing self-service kiosks plus cubbies and special drive-thru lanes for online orders.

But that’s not all. Select locations in China are also using Internet of Things (IoT) -based intelligent restaurant energy management system to effectively reduce power consumption by about 10% per year.  

While, so far, efforts to automate cooking and kitchen operations possess fallen flat, Yum! hasn’t given up on this particular endeavor. In May 2021, the organization acquired Dragontail Systems , a kitchen order management and delivery technology. According to the official press release, Dragontail’s “connected, smart, end-to-end AI-based solution automates the kitchen area flow combined with the particular process of dispatching drivers. It helps restaurants sequence plus time each order, while planning optimal delivery routes and combining delivery orders by location. The technology also offers consumer-facing capabilities that enable customers in order to track their order en route. In addition, it can operate with outside food shipping partners. ” 

Though Taco Bell and KFC’s resilience in the face of market chaos is usually due to a number of factors, their access to reliable decision intelligence cannot be overlooked. Within the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of Yum! ’s largest franchise operators, Mitra QSR, decided to implement Hypersonix, an enterprise AI platform, throughout it’s 200+ KFC plus Taco Bell locations.  

In a recent interview, Pushpak Patel, CEO of Mitra QSR, explained that the insights Hypersonix generated related to tore operating hours, shift administration, supply chain planning, menu optimization and price plus promotion management were invaluable. As he put it, “It is the must-have in order to run our business efficiently. What we like most about Hypersonix’s AI solution is that it is very actionable, and it boils down a good ocean associated with data into very tangible sales and profit motorists. ”

More specifically , Hypersonix helped Mitra QSR:  

  • streamline menus options to increase drive-thru speed after evaluating time to cook versus the popularity of specific items
  • obtain location-by-location data for the busiest plus slowest hrs of business throughout the particular day which they could use to refine staffing strategies and operating hours

In addition , YUM! also recently acquired Kvantum, Inc. , an AI-based consumer information and marketing performance measurement business. By combining this tool along with previous data analytics investments, YUM! hopes to better understand consumer behavior, make more informed media buying decisions and develop/apply “a disciplined advertising sciences program at scale. ”   

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