KFC has spun up an innovation hub in Braamfontein – htxt

KFC has spun up an innovation hub in Braamfontein - htxt

KFC has announced the launch of an innovation hub at its Braamfontein location. The hub is on 73 Juta Street, and is reportedly the first of its kind for the brand globally. Along with serving up fried chicken in various forms, it features a custom VR gaming area, crowdsourced in-store music playlists, and a wholly different interior design. We enjoy our KFC here in the Hypertext office, but we never considered the fried chicken retailer to be interested in technology or innovation. Well, that was until the KFC Play Braam concept store was recently opened to the public. As the name suggests, this location is in the busy Johannesburg district of Braamfontein, specifically found at 73 Juta Street for those who want to check it out. What makes the concept store/innovation hub particularly interesting is the fact that it is the first of its kind launched by the brand globally, according to the company. “KFC Play Braam at 73 Juta Street will serve as both a unique retail space and an innovation hub for the brand. It will pioneer new concepts in real time and innovate in all areas: food, fashion, customer service, team member experience, tech, operations, development, sustainability and design,” a press release of the new space shared with Hypertext explains. “We’re the largest quick-service restaurant brand on the continent with the youngest population in the world, so the onus is on us not only to remain at the forefront of food and retail trends but to lead them. KFC at Play Braam is about never-before-tasted flavours and never-before-seen fashion, digital experiences and gaming,” adds KFC chief marketing officer, Grant Macpherson. As for the flavours Macpherson mentions, the innovation hub features an exclusive new menu that includes items like of Cola Dunked Wings, a Chilli Lime Burger, Hot and Spicy Chachos (KFC’s version of nachos), new Krushers including the Pineapple Mojito Sparkling Krusher, as well as Colonel and Zinger bottled sauces that are available for purchase. On the tech side of the exclusive menu, all content is displayed 100 percent digitally throughout the space, with cashless digital kiosks found inside with ordering in 11 of SA’s official languages and unlimited WiFi access for customers. Another interesting addition is a crowdsourced playlist on Spotify that allows customers to contribute song suggestions and personalise their in-restaurant experience. Other innovations in KFC Play Braam are a space for customers to virtually try on exclusive merchandise from a collaboration range with local designer Mzukisi Mbane of Imprint ZA, as well as compete in a custom VR gaming experience on a live leaderboard to win KFC vouchers. “Innovation is about being brave enough to push the boundaries, test new concepts and getting real-time feedback,” concluded Macpherson. It’s unclear how long with innovation hub will remain open, but it looks like KFC will be using it as a testbed location for new ideas it wants to bring to the South African take-away experience. [Images – Provided]