Thursday, June 2, 2016

Pizza Hut Employs Robot Waiters in Asian Outlets

Pizza Hut Robot
A former McDonald's CEO reported that companies are considering employing robots instead of humans if the minimum wage is raised above US$ 15. However, that scenario has already become a reality after robots are seen taking and serving orders at fast food chain, Pizza Hut.

Pizza Hut has partnered with MasterCard to deploy robotic waiters to its restaurants in Asia.

The robots, named Pepper, can greet and interact with customers, as well as take food orders. A digital tablet displayed on the robots' chests show menu options.

In order to interact with Pepper, customers must have a MasterPass account on their phones.

Here's how it works: Customers will greet the robot, then pair their MasterPass account by either tapping the Pepper icon on their phones or by scanning a QR code on robot's tablet. Then the robot will be able to help customers order and pay for their food.

Pizza Hut executives said Pepper will make it easier for people to customize their orders and it will speed up customer service.

"We are excited to welcome Pepper to the Pizza Hut family," said Vipul Chawla, managing director of Pizza Hut Restaurants Asia. "Core to our digital transformation journey is the ability to make it easier for customers to engage, connect and transact with Pizza Hut. With an order-and-payment-enabled Pepper, customers can now come to expect personalized ordering at our stores, reduce wait time for carryout, and have a fun, frictionless user experience."

The addition of Pepper to Pizza Hut represents a new threat to fast-food workers.

Wendy's, McDonald's, and Panera have all started rolling out digital ordering kiosks to restaurants across the US to speed up customer service and reduce labor costs.
Robots haven't been piloted in US restaurants yet, but it might not be long before they become mainstream, at least according to former McDonald's USA CEO Ed Rensi.

Former McDonald's USA CEO Ed Rensi warned last 26 May: "It's cheaper to buy a US$ 35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who's inefficient making US$ 15 an hour bagging french fries," Rensi warned in a Fox Business interview. "It's nonsense and it's very destructive and it's inflationary and it's going to cause a job loss across this country like you're not going to believe."

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