Compass Group Ireland plans to launch its first fully 'frictionless' checkout-free store in a workplace in early 2022.
The Irish store, a first for the foodservice sector, is set to open in Dublin in the New Year and will be followed by sites in the UK during 2022.
Frictionless units will be established within corporate clients’ offices, as well as in the sports and leisure sectors.
The new stores will utilise AiFi’s AI-powered computer vision technology, which allows shoppers to purchase items in-store without having to wait in line or stop to scan or pay.
The stores will typically stock a selection of both hot and chilled ‘grab-n-go’ dishes, drinks and confectionery.
A truly friction-free 24/7 shopping experience, customers ‘check in’ when entering and then wander through the store selecting from the wide assortment at their leisure; no scanning and no queuing to pay.
'They simply leave with their purchases and a receipt is delivered directly to their phone moments later,' the company said.
"This cutting-edge technology means customers can pop into our store to pick up what they need, whenever they need it – it’s a great flexible solution for busy workers,” said Deirdre O’Neill, managing director, Compass Group Ireland.
No Facial Recognition
According to Compass Group Ireland, no facial recognition or biometrics are used with this technology, so customer anonymity is assured.
Once a customer enters the store, computer vision cameras anonymously track the shopper, adding the selected items to a virtual shopping cart.
The frictionless stores will be established either at clients’ sites where vending-only food solutions exist currently, or where the new format can be part of a suite of solutions, including a mix of self-service and serviced meal options.
Compass Ireland said that its employees will be on-hand to provide support to customers on site.
“This food-to-go solution is the ultimate in seamless shopping and forms part of our long-term digital transformation plans," added Jon Braithwaite, chief innovation officer for Compass Group UK & Ireland.
A Compass Ireland client workplace in south Dublin was selected as the first location for the new foodservice solution.
It will open as soon as working from home advice is lifted, hopefully in early 2022.
Trials have already been successfully carried out.