PARIS — When it comes to food choices, what is on the top of consumers’ mind? Taste, look, or service experience? Maybe for today’s consumers, the answer is “All of them”.
People are increasingly health-conscious, and choices of food are many out there. However, traditional catering services are not personalized enough, let alone providing health tips for each customer. Cafeterias for enterprises, schools, and other large facilities face multiple challenges, such as slow settlement and long queues. These problems also affect customer experience. It has now become an industry trend to introduce intelligent methods to improve dining experience and efficiency.
To address these challenges, Sodexo, one of the world’s largest catering service providers, works with Huawei France to launch the Seefood intelligent settlement solution. The solution builds on the Huawei Atlas AI software and hardware platform, and combines AI image recognition into the settlement phase to automatically recognize dishes, calculate prices, and complete settlement via cards and mobile terminals.
This solution uses deep metric learning to accurately recognize each dish in 0.3 seconds. It learns rapidly and can instantly recognize the distinguishing features of a dish after the canteen operator inputs a new dish image. The system provides an algorithm for updating the features of incorrectly identified samples to improve the recognition rate. In addition, after each recognition, the terminal system automatically adds object detection and classification labels and sends them to the training platform on the cloud. In this way, the number of training samples and the precision of the algorithm models are improved on the go. The more it is used, the smarter the system becomes.
The Seefood solution sets itself apart by providing real-time nutrition and calorie information. Empowered by these innovations, the solution not only eliminates the need for manual cashier intervention to drastically cut queuing time, but delivers healthier, tech-driven, and more personalized services for diners.
“I come here every day for my work lunch. It’s now fully self-service, from dish choosing to settlement. No more queues! It’s ‘food with fun’,” said an engineer at the canteen of a Guangzhou-based company using the Seefood solution. Another interviewee, a market specialist, said, “The canteen now can even calculate the calories of food and provide very intuitive nutrition reference. That’s a game changer and exactly the ideal dining solution for health-conscious people like me.”
For cafeteria operators, the Seefood solution implements fully automated settlement, and provides order and turnover statistics to visualize operation data, helping them improve service capability and boost operational efficiency.
A cafeteria that serves 2000 people can accelerate its settlement speed from 20 seconds per person to just 3 seconds, increase the number of people served per hour from 180 to 1200, and implement 24/7, real-time operation data management and analysis.
Currently, the Seefood solution has been applied by Sodexo in its cafeteria for Huawei’s Shenzhen headquarters, as well as other large enterprises, hospitals, and universities in cities including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Shanghai in China. The solution has already demonstrated its marvelous business value and is well received by canteen operators and consumers.
Looking ahead, Sodexo is planning to promote this solution globally. The solution will be deployed in Sodexo’s cafeterias in West Europe in the first half of 2021. Martin Boden, President of Sodexo China, said, “Innovation is in Sodexo’s DNA, and China is one of the countries leading the world’s technological and digital transformation. We are delighted to work with Huawei to develop innovative service models for catering. Through this joint innovation project, we can better serve our customers, and enrich customer experience in terms of efficiency, convenience, and health. We are committed to providing better Quality of Life services for consumers in China and around the world.”
Huawei has been honing an AI software and hardware platform that delivers unrivaled ease of use and performance. Huawei works with industry customers and application partners to deliver AI innovation for industries. Huawei will deepen its collaboration with Sodexo to explore more scenarios in the catering industry, make catering services more convenient, and provide a better dining experience for consumers.
Sodexo is one of the world’s largest catering service providers and a Fortune Global 500 company. Headquartered in Paris, France, Sodexo provides catering services for enterprises, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and factories worldwide. With professional teams of chefs, dieticians, and kitchen staff, Sodexo has long been passionate about providing quality food that tastes amazing and delights its customers.