SHANGHAI -- A Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in Shanghai's Metro City commercial complex in China serves customers through an automatic order-taking machine. The system, implemented on an experimental basis, has been well-received as it cuts down on waiting time.
Customers order using a touch-panel screen and pay using credit or debit cards.
The U.S. fast-food brand is turning to the ticketing machine to deal with an acute labor shortage in urban areas. In particular, the dearth is serious in the low-wage service sector.
The device transmits orders to the kitchen online. It handles order-taking more quickly than conventional manned counters, where long lines usually form. "I like this way because I don't have to wait for a long time," said a man in his 20s.
Automated restaurant order services are common in Japan, but they are new to China, where labor is cheap. The introduction of an automatic ticketing service by KFC suggests a change in the country's economic growth pattern, which has long relied on abundant cheap labor.