KFC Canada bets on AI analytics for deeper insights across functions

Linda J. Dodson

Table of Contents

Dive Brief:

  • KFC has tapped AI analytics vendor Manthan’s enterprise analytics platform to centralize its use of data across the organization and for key franchisee partners, according to a details shared with Marketing Dive.
  • The Yum Brands subsidiary will leverage Manthan’s Restaurant Analytics Solution for dashboads, advanced analytics and algorithmic decisions so that data is behind actions across inventory, operations, e-commerce, guest experience, customer voice, marketing and CRM, among other functions.
  • For KFC, the partnership reflects the importance of being able to quickly adapt to changes in demand and quickly optimize different areas of the business for success in the competitive quick-service restaurant space, Reza Kouhang, CFO at KFC Canada, said in the release.​

Dive Insight:

KFC Canada’s partnership with Manthan underscores the importance of digital-based insights that can be quickly determined, particularly for restaurants in the competitive QSR space, where consumers’ expectations continue to rise for personalized and omnichannel experiences.

KFC Canada, which has more than 600 locations, is betting on a cloud-based, AI-supported platform to help drive its own digital transformation through data and analytics, even as the number of marketers with no plans to leverage AI is on the rise, according to a recent survey. The chain has been making digital a priority for the past few years and is now looking to ramp up that initiative as online sales grow, per the release.

Many fast-food chains have been adopting more digital functionality over the past decade, and pandemic lockdowns seem to be accelerating the move into digital. As shelter-in-place orders around the world begin to lift, many consumers may continue to look for contactless options with the businesses they frequent. Fast-food companies that offer ways to order and pay via an app and other forms of engagement that cut down on physical interaction could win customer support as people ease back into the world.

The partnership with Manthan could also help KFC Canada meet changing consumer demands while more seamlessly managing data across its network of 600 stores to provide a more unified experience to customers.

KFC already has a strong showing in digital offerings, with the Yum Brands chain boasting digital ordering kiosks and a mobile app with ordering functionality. The tech focus has been reflected in consumer-facing marketing strategies in recent years as well.

In 2017, the brand installed an animatronic Colonel Harland Sanders robot at some locations, with speech recognition and AI to transform the drive-thru operator’s voice into the brand mascot’s Southern drawl. The company more recently rolled out a blockchain pilot program across its Middle East operations aimed to improve digital advertising and media buying and to make ads more transparent.

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