KFC Trying out New Technology in Russian Restaurants

With more than 300,000 employees, global fast food chain KFC faces a challenge when matching training technologies to the many nations and cultures in which the brand operates globally.

In an interview with Qsrweb.com, KFC’s global Chief Digital Officer Ryan Ostrom said the company is now testing voice-activated training technologies in U.S. stores in order to provide the right technology to the needs and characteristics of the American market. Likewise, an entirely different solution is being used in Australia, built around Yammer and designed for the characteristics of that nation’s workers.

KFC operates in more than 130 countries, so the big global brand has to test these (technology-based training) solutions around the world. In Russia, the country’s younger workforce needed another solution more in sync with their habits and preferences, Ostrom says.

“Russia is one of our fastest growing markets, and when you look at the average age (of Russian KFC workers), it’s anywhere between 16 and 20 years old for the average team member there, so they’re young. We’re trying to figure out newer ways and more modern ways to drive that real-time training, and what we executed and are testing in Russia in all stores is a QR code execution where all their procedures, devices and equipment back-of-house have QR codes attached, and employees can then use their own cell phones to quickly get video content of how that machine works or how the process goes to use that machine,” the KFC official adds.

According to him, when the company trains all the employees on the processes the same way, the customer experience improves because the product comes out more consistent.

“So that legendary original recipe with 11 herbs and spices has been consistent with all our customers throughout Russia as we execute our training,” Ostrom told Qsrweb.com.

KFC opened its first restaurant in Russia in 1993, before leaving the market in 1998. The fast-food chain returned in 2000, and, as of January 2018, it has a total of 608 restaurants in Russia.