Digitizing dining: AI self-checkouts land in Canary Wharf, London

Digitizing dining: AI self-checkouts land in Canary Wharf, London


London, UK – May 2023 – One of the world’s biggest banks, and a leader in digital transformation, is on a mission to deliver connected workspaces that create an exceptional employee experience.

The bank has partnered with Compass Group, multinational foodservice company, and Autocanteen, vision AI self-checkout company, to deliver self-service terminals in their staff restaurant to enhance speed of service, reduce queues and free up staff from the monotonous checkout function operating traditional tills. The bank is continually investigating and trialing new innovative technologies to transform and digitize the ways they work.

The smart scan technology uses artificial intelligence to identify items without the scanning of barcodes, enabling checkouts in as little as 10 seconds on average or at least 3 times faster than via traditional tills.

The Head of Corporate Services said, “The AI self-checkout is another great example of how we’re digitizing and improving our colleague experience. The innovative scanning technology means that our colleagues don’t have to scan a single barcode to self-checkout. The system learns from each transaction, meaning that it’s becoming quicker and more accurate by the day.”

Gavin Gooddy, Marketing Director at Restaurant Associates (Compass Group) said, “Restaurant Associates values partnerships with best-in-class technologies like Autocanteen to deliver exceptional customer experiences, seamlessly blending innovation and service to exceed our guests’ expectations.”

Autocanteen, the epitome of innovation in checkout solutions, plays a pivotal role in this digital transformation. A masterful example of efficiency, Autocanteen leverages high-precision 3D cameras that go beyond traditional color imaging by capturing shape and depth. This is complemented by reliable Brecknell 6700U for Weigh & Pay transactions. Autocanteen is certified by government bodies to accept weight-based transactions in the UK, EU and Canada.

Mark Williams, Brecknell Segment Manager said, “In early 2021, Autocanteen reached out to Brecknell, introducing us to their cutting-edge technology and innovative solutions poised to make waves in the market. We were thrilled to forge a partnership and incorporate our 6700U POS scale into their solutions.”

The Brecknell 6700U POS scale is a perfect fit for this application, boasting user-friendly plug-and-play connectivity, precise weighing capabilities, and a food-grade stainless steel weight platter. These features are instrumental in maintaining consistent and accurate weighing, thereby ensuring that all products are sold with the correct weight and quantity.

All data, including product information and transaction records, are securely stored in the cloud, making the system scalable and reliable, and allowing seamless sharing across terminals. This not only provides unparalleled convenience but also offers clients full control over the management of their menus and content.

How long did it take to get selling?

The implementation project took four weeks from order to being ready for go live. The team on-site was able to trade from the opening day at full capacity. The Autocanteen team has visited the site several times to train the terminals and team on-site to manage them. It’s expected that the innovative AI solution will show a significant return on investment.

The team on-site was able to trade from day 1, with 10,000 transactions exceeding £60,000 in total processed via 4 terminals in the first month.

How did the solution impact the client’s bottom line?

In the first two weeks, the checkout section needed to be semi-assisted to educate customers about the new technology. However, after the first few days, customers understood and have been impressed by the new quick and convenient way to transact in the restaurant.

This is still early days and throughput so far via the self-checkout section is around 10-11 transactions per minute. We expect this number to increase to 16 transactions per minute at peak time. With no more need to manually process up to 700 orders daily, the queues have shortened and the team on-site can focus on better customer experience.

The team on-site is happy to be in full control of their menu which they manage on the fly.

Most interactions with the system, before payment, such as scanning and weighing, take 3 seconds. A single staff member can oversee 10 transactions per bank of four terminals per minute.

Return on investment

It’s expected that the Autocanteen self-service solution at this site, facilitating 110K transactions of £700K per year and freeing three people from processing, will show more than 120% return on investment. Most savings come from repurposed labor from checkout operations elsewhere.

Sample transactions

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