NEXTEP Self-Serve Kiosks at UFood Grill Recognize Customers' Faces

An excerpt from “UFood Grill’s self-serve kiosk recognizes customers’ faces”
By Elliot Maras
As published on Kiosk Marketplace

Patrons at the newly opened UFood Grill in Owings Mills, Maryland, won’t be forgotten. They can order at a self-serve kiosk that will remember them for future visits, thanks to facial recognition.

The kiosk is the technological highlight of the fast casual chain’s first stand-alone street location, said Samantha Rincione, UFood Grill’s vice president of franchise development.

“Nowadays, the biggest thing, especially in restaurants, is convenience. They walk in, they place their order, they can add on items, they can customize their meal, very quickly by themselves, with little interaction if that’s what they prefer,” she said in an interview with Kiosk Marketplace. “We were getting a lot of requests for ease of ordering,”

How it works

Customers can choose to order at one of the two kiosks or may place their orders at the traditional cashier counter. Kiosk users are asked if they would like to add their phone number or have a photo taken to make future orders easier. They can order and pay in less than 10 seconds. Once the order is ready, the servers call out the customer by name to pick up their order at the counter. Servers also take orders to customers.

“Every quick serve and fast casual restaurant can benefit from facial recognition,” said Tommy Woycik, president of Nextep, the company that developed the technology. “While initially using it indoors, we will soon be piloting at our touchscreen drive-thru locations.

“Imagine visiting your local drive-thru and ordering your favorite customized coffee drink with a quick glance at the camera.”

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