Slick Solution Uses AI, Sensors, Projection To Boost Order Pickups At Korean Starbucks Cafes

December 21, 2022 by Dave Haynes

The customer experience kind of falls apart at busier quick service restaurants when guests order their coffees or whatever, and then stand back and wait for someone to holler out their name or order number when their goodies are ready for pickup.

I was passing through Boston Logan recently and there had to be 40 people all waiting for coffee orders at a Starbucks, and the big crowd was struggling to even hear what staff would shout out. “Did she just yell ‘Dave?’ or was that “Steve???'”

It’s just not good, and the whole process at Starbucks – and even at fast food machines like In-N-Out – begs for pick-up displays integrated with the ordering system that visually tell people their orders are ready for pickup. I’ve seen that here and there, but it’s anything but pervasive.

So I was intrigued by this test running in South Korea that uses a mash-up of AI, overhead projection and stretched tabletop displays to help streamline the order pickup process at Starbucks in that country.

The Korean digital signage solutions company SoundGraph has been supplying a “Calling Name Display” solution that guides food and beverage pickup locations at some 1,500 Starbucks Korea locations for the past five years, and has a similar set-up running in VIP lounges of Shinsegae department stores across the country. The display relays information pulled in real-time from store business systems, resulting in a variation of queue management displays.

SoundGraph recently tested a newer solution at a Starbucks that uses artificial intelligence and augmented reality, displaying the order number by overhead projection on the pickup table, in conjunction with the order information. When a customer picks up his or her food and beverage, the overhead AI-driven camera recognizes the receipt of food and beverage at the table, automatically retrieves the customer’s delivery status, and closes the transaction.

You can see in the video below how with this process, the LCD screen flashes new orders that are up, and how the projection system locates each order … so people aren’t grabbing the wrong order or being forced to spin a take-out cup around to see if the order really is for them, based on a name scrawled or printed out on the side.

Pretty slick, and done well, solves a big customer experience problem.

  1. Craig says:

    Adding Costco to the list Dave. And typical ambient noise level of 60 db?

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