Compass Group UK and Ireland, part of Compass Group, is set to launch a fully ‘frictionless’ store early next year, which will be a first for the foodservice sector.

The new store, set to open in Ireland, will feature hot and chilled ‘grab-n-go’ dishes, confectionery and drinks.

Over the next year, Compass Group UK and Ireland plans to open additional units in the UK at other corporate clients’ locations and for the defence as well as sports and leisure sectors.

For this new foodservice solution, Compass Group UK and Ireland selected a client workplace in South Dublin as the first location.

Compass Group UK and Ireland chief innovation officer Jon Braithwaite said: “This food-to-go solution is the ultimate in seamless shopping and forms part of our long-term digital transformation plans.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to add real value to the customer experience through technology, by offering great quality food round-the-clock, while delivering an experience which is as quick and frictionless as possible.”

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The new stores will feature AiFi’s artificial intelligence (AI)-powered computer vision technology, which will enable customers to purchase items without waiting in line or stopping to scan or pay. The purchase receipt will be sent directly to their phone.

The AI technology does not use facial recognition, instead, computer vision cameras anonymously track shoppers after they enter the store, adding their choice of items to a virtual shopping cart.

Compass Group UK and Ireland noted that the new stores could be deployed at sites where vending-only solutions exist or for clients looking for a mix of self-service and serviced meal options.

AiFi founder and CEO Steve Gu said: “AiFi is proud to partner with Compass Group to deploy our AI-powered frictionless shopping solution.  We are combining the highest level of convenience with the very best locally sourced and prepared food offerings from Compass Group, producing a win-win for busy workers.”