Since opening its first restaurant in Tiananmen Square, Beijing in 1987, KFC has expanded its franchise to a total of over five thousand locations all across the country and become the largest restaurant chain in China.
KFC’s success in China can be attributed to China’s favorable reception of the company’s irresistible Original Recipe yet; there’s much more to the story of Colonel Sander’s triumph in the east.
Unlike the traditional model of KFC outlets in the United States and other developed markets—a limited menu, low prices, and an emphasis on customers opting for take-out—KFC operates in China with the purpose of serving the local needs.
In other words, Yum! Brands, the restaurant company that owns KFC and other chains such as Pizza Hut and Taco Bell has structured its business model through the process of localizing the product and focussing on customer experience and the dining experience.
KFC’s launched a new brand proposition called “Be You” in 2017. The brand aims to offer consumers the pleasure of being entirely natural as they are suported by an instore fully digital process and supporting entertainment, consumers can manage and enjoy a new dining experience on their terms.
The primary target consumers of KFC is young adults. They rely heavily on the Internet and their mobile devices and constantly look for new experiences.
KFC partnered with Dentsu Aegis Trio Isobar Shanghai China office and Baidu to design the process to accommodate Chinese interests and behavior and create a whole new interactive dining experience in the restaurant. From ordering, waiting to dining.
The idea is called “Dumi” a Voice-Controlled Robot and self-help ordering kiosk. Consumers can order their meals by talking with a voice-controlled A.I. Robot to avoid the waiting lines.
Dumi’s voice recognition is sophisticated enough to handle customers changing their orders and making substitutions by “learning” from its interactions, but its makers admit the robot has trouble distinguishing between certain dialects and accents.
For the ordering Kiosks, Isobar designed a stylish appearance, and user interface was focusing on a more convenient ordering process. Customers can pay for their purchases on their phone using mobile payment services such as Alipay, Tenpay, and Baidu Wallet. Furthermore, the concept store has a wireless charging station for mobile phones that also doubles as a music listening station which can be accessed through a QR code.
There was also “Smart Music Tables” created to leverage KFC’s owned media platform “K-music”. Consumers can recharge their cell phones wirelessly, and they can also scan a QR code to listen to the music of their choice from K-music to create an interactive dining atmosphere.
This new KFC digital dining experience became the highlight of the grand opening of KFC’s 5,000th restaurant. It has gained over 600 new articles from various media outlets and created great discussions on social media which in turn as driven many consumers to the restaurant to explore and play in the KFC digital dining experience. Congrats Isobar and Baidu.