Restaurants are using facial-recognition software to remember how you like your burger

Illustration for article titled Restaurants are using facial-recognition software to remember how you like your burgerem/em
Photo: John Lund, Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

If Black Mirror hasn’t yet addressed face-scanning, burger-ordering kiosks, we can only assume the topic will show up next season. That technology is already a reality at two Dallas restaurants: an outpost of the chain BurgerFi and a location of Malibu Poke both use facial-recognition software to guide customers’ orders.

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According to the Dallas Observer, both restaurants say the software could help speed up the ordering process, remembering your order preference so you don’t have to go through multiple screens of questions.

“It’s all about speed and getting through the line quickly,” Dallas’ Malibu Poke owner John Alexis tells the Observer.

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The technology takes a photo of your face as you’re ordering from the kiosk; small yellow dots appear on the photo as the computer reads the specific topography of your face. The system then banks this topography, along with your order, so it can suggest your favorite items to you the next time you return to the restaurant.

This type of software is also in use at a Caliburger locations in Philadelphia and Pasadena, California; at a KFC in Beijing; and a UFood Grill in Owings Mills, Maryland.

Creepiness aside, I see a practical issue with this system: I don’t always order the same thing from restaurants I frequent. I guess some people never deviate, but me, I contain multitudes. Maybe I want a burger with Swiss one day, but with provolone and onion rings the next; perhaps tuna poke one day and a yellowtail sashimi rice bowl the next. You don’t know me, AI burger bot. And stop laughing at my bedhead.

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

ubercultute
uberculture

But my evil twin always orders well done with extra ketchup.  I’m going to find him one of these days, but I suspect he’s only around when I’m asleep, and when I’m awake, he’s locked in his own slumber.  It’s a real problem.