Yum China Launches New KPRO Store with Facial Recognition Payment

Yum China this month announced the launch of its new restaurant concept, KPRO by KFC in Hangzhou, China. Designed to offer a fresh, seasonal menu to a new generation of sophisticated diners, the concept harnesses digital technology to provide a modern and 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 an assortment of made-to-order salads, panini and roasted chicken, complemented by freshly squeezed fruit juice, gourmet coffee, craft beer and premium Cremia ice cream. The store is designed with a welcoming "greenhouse" layout and an open kitchen where meals are freshly prepared, creating a friendly and vibrant food market atmosphere.

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 unique payment technology utilises a multi-step authentication process, including a facial scan and mobile phone number, to verify the identity of customers and facilitate payment.

The integration of 'Smile to Pay' in the new KPRO restaurant in Hangzhou 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. "We are excited to introduce Smile to Pay to KPRO customers."

"Elevating the customer experience through new design, flavours and technologies has always been central to our approach at KFC in China," said Johnson Huang, General Manager, 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 cutting-edge technology throughout the restaurant 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 serve the freshly prepared food directly to the tables – enabling customers to enjoy their experience, without distraction.

To find out more about the Yum China brand, visit its website.