Face-Based Loyalty

By Joann Plockova

Photo courtesy of CALI GROUP


In a burger joint in California, all you need to place your order is your face. With the pilot rolled out in its Pasadena location, CaliBurger, a quick-serve restaurant chain with more than 35 locations around the world, has recently introduced AI-enabled self-ordering kiosks that allow you to place your order using facial recognition.

“Face-based loyalty significantly reduces the friction associated with loyalty program registration and use,” says John Miller, chairman and CEO of Cali Group, the holding company behind CaliBurger. “It enables a restaurant chain like CaliBurger to provide a customized, one-on-one interactive experience at the ordering kiosk. As we’re always trying to innovate on our customer experience, we felt the kiosks will give customers an extra option with a new, technology-driven approach to the traditional ordering process.”

So, how does it work? Customers walk up to the kiosks, and their faces are scanned using NeoFace facial recognition software developed by NEC Corporation of America. This immediately activates registered customers’ loyalty accounts, which shows their favorite meal packages based on ordering history. There is no need to swipe a card or type in identifying information. “[Customers can] complete a new order transaction in a matter of seconds,” Miller says.

If all goes well, CaliBurger plans to incorporate face-recognition kiosks worldwide next year. “The addition of these kiosks serves as the next step in our ongoing mission to innovate on the customer experience and provide technology-fueled interactions for customers,” Miller adds. “We’ve already enlisted the help of AI and robotics to automate kitchen equipment and monitor the dining area, so the kiosks are a great compliment to what already exists.”

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