Dunkin’ is gearing up to test an Amazon Go-style store in California, a state where the coffee and doughnut chain likes to tinker with new tech.
The checkout-free pilot program, which launches in October, allows a customer to walk into a store to grab coffee and baked goods without interacting with anyone or scanning anything at a kiosk. Circle K and foodservice management company Delaware North are also testing the automated self-service platform dubbed Shop Anywhere by Mastercard.
Dunkin' plans to debut the checkout-free experience, which works similiar to Amazon Go stores, at a yet-to-be announced Dunkin’ store in California.
Once consumers opt-in to the platform via Dunkin’s app or a kiosk, they can use a QR code displayed on their phone to enter the test store which will be outfitted with self-serve stations for coffee and doughnuts.
“At that point, they can put their phone away, and pick up a coffee or baked items they want to take [and] walk out the store,” Stephane Wyper, senior vice president of retail innovation at Mastercard, told Nation’s Restaurant News.
The platform uses computer vision technology created by Accel Robotics to track purchases. The secure system is “fully anonymized” to protect the privacy of the consumer, Wyper said.
Once the guest exits the store, they will get a notification that their digital receipt can be viewed on the app.
“There's no checkout. There's no need to scan a product. They can simply just leave the store,” Wyper said.
Dunkin’, which likes to experiment with store innovations in Southern California, has rolled out “next generation” stores in Santa Ana and Corona, Calif. The stores are equipped with touchscreen kiosks and digital menu boards that display the progress of orders.
The latest test builds on that innovation, the company told NRN.
“We continue to look for ways to make the Dunkin’ brand more convenient and accessible, whether that’s through digital technology, including our DD Perks program, mobile ordering via the Dunkin’ app, delivery, and curbside pickup, or our NextGen restaurant design, which emphasizes faster, contactless service,” Dunkin’ said.
The brand did not provide any more details about the experiment. Shop Anywhere will begin testing in October.
Dunkin’ is one of several restaurant and C-store brands taking advantage of Mastercard’s new technologies. White Castle also plans to test Mastercard’s “AI Powered Drive Through” platform later this year.
The drive-thru system features license plate recognition and a digital voice assistant powered by artificial intelligence. White Castle plans to use the platform to provide a more personalized and frictionless experience for customers.
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