Sodexo reinvents catering with Atlas AI platform

The catering service provider has worked with Huawei to launch the Seefood intelligent settlement solution.

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 might be “All of them”.

Consumers are increasingly health-conscious, and choices of food are many. However, traditional catering services are not personalised 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 issues also have an impact on customer experience. It has then become an industry trend to introduce intelligent methods to improve dining experience and efficiency.

As such, Sodexo, a catering service provider, has worked with Huawei France to launch the Seefood intelligent settlement solution. The solution is built on the Huawei Atlas AI software and hardware platform, and combined artificial intelligence (AI) image recognition into the settlement phase to automatically recognise dishes, calculate prices, and complete settlement via cards and mobile terminals.

This solution uses deep metric learning to accurately recognise each dish in 0.3 seconds. It learns rapidly and can instantly recognise 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 precise of the algorithm models are improved on the go.

The Seefood solution provides nutrition and calorie information. Empowered by these innovations, the solution not only eliminates the need for manual cashier intervention to reduce queuing time, but delivers healthier, tech-driven, and more personalised services for diners.

For cafeteria operators, the Seefood solution implements automated settlement, and provides order and turnover statistics to visualise operation data, helping them improve service capability and enhance operational efficiency. For instance, a cafeteria that serves 2,000 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 1,200 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.

Looking ahead, Sodexo has planned to promote this solution globally. The solution will be deployed in Sodexo’s cafeterias in West Europe in H1 2021.

Martin Boden, president of Sodexo China, said: “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.”