Now KFC Lets Customers Pay For Meals By Smiling

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: KFC)

There’s nothing like a Bargain Bucket to put a smile on your face.

At least, that’s what KFC is hoping, as new facial recognition software will allow their customers to grin from ear to ear in order to be charged for the cost of their meals.

The catch? This technology is currently only available in a single store in Hangzhou, China, where the local manager is presumably a little too eager to invest in weird new technology.

Earlier this year, KFC used facial recognition software to provide a way for customers to pick up their orders in what should have been an impressive modern convenience, but ended up being a bit awkward and imperfect. Food recommendations based on previous purchases are great, but only when the machine correctly identifies you instead of calling you by the wrong name because it thinks you’re someone else.

Now, this same tech is being used to process payments for those who want to try out a new concept restaurant from KFC, which instead of serving traditional fried chicken, provides salads and roasted chicken instead (so how is it KFC?!).

KFC Facial Recognition
Source: Shanghaiist

Customers can register their face with kiosks for easy payment, and are also asked to provide a phone number, as a backup in case someone tries to steal someone else’s face to get a free meal.

It’s unlikely that this technology will ever really take off – after all, it’s a lot more hassle than simply handing over cash – but you can’t fault KFC for yet again trying something new and interesting as a publicity stunt to get people talking about their restaurant.

Even if the restaurant in this case doesn’t actually serve KFC (why?!).