Foodscape Releases Cashiers from Repetitive Checkout Tasks to Higher-Value Works with Vision AI

April 13, 2022

On November 12th, Foodscape celebrated its grand opening with creative baked goods and Viscovery’s innovative Vision AI-powered checkout system in Osaka, Japan.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, Foodscape believes it is important to provide a contact-less and faster checkout environment for both its customers and cashiers. Yet, since “human service” is still critically essential in Japan’s retail market, especially in the checkout process, Foodscape chooses to roll out Viscovery’s AI-powered Visual checkout system to make cashier checkout faster, reduce close contacts between customers and cashiers, while retain cashiers’ service.

▲ Foodscape’s cozy in-store environment
Foodscape rolled out the Viscovery AI product recognition system to speed up checkout, freeing up labor with AI and enhancing the value of human work.
▲ Foodscape rolled out Viscovery’s AI-powered Visual Checkout system

Below is an excerpt from an interview with Foodscape’s store manager, Mr. Satoi, to explore Foodscape’s real using experiences:

――Please share with us why Foodscape chose to deploy Viscovery Visual Checkout system.

Mr. Satoi : The main purpose for the deployment was to shorten customers wait time and reduce queues. Viscovery’s Visual Checkout system enables multiple baked items to be identified within one second for checkout, making checkout faster than ever.

――Is there any concern before the installation?

Mr. Satoi : We were worried about the recognition due to two points: our special-looking bread and our wooden tray, which looks very much like our bread.

With the hope to reduce food waste, some of our breads are topped with vegetables, which are the ingredients left from making other types of baked goods, or bought from imperfect food sources. Therefore, this kind of bread looks very different every day.

As for the wooden tray, since the color of our wooden tray and that of some bakery items are very much alike, when the bread is put on the tray, it seems like there is no bread on the tray from time to time.

However, I was extremely surprised by the smooth and smart recognition! Viscovery’s AI checkout system smartly identifies our unusual and distinctive products.

▲ Foodscape’s special bread topped with imperfect vegetable
Here are some examples of the recognition screens used by Foodscape: the Viscovery AI system can accurately identify creative breads made from leftovers, whether they are packaged or have changes in appearance. With just one click on the screen, the amount of checkout time are significantly reduced, freeing up labor with AI, allowing for AI to take over more labor-intensive tasks and increase the value of human work.
▲ Foodscape’s real recognition example: no matter how the bread is packaged, with or without plastic bag, it can be recognized correctly
▲ Foodscape’s real recognition example: even bread with mushroom (京都椎茸ギョウザ) can also be identified as one item correctly, instead of two
▲ Foodscape’s real recognition example: some bread looks like hiding in the wooden tray

――After using the AI checkout system for a while, how do you and your team members (the cashiers) think about it?

Mr. Satoi : First, the AI checkout system helps us reduce 75% time for training new cashiers since the AI system identifies bread within 1 second, which is much faster and more accurately than a human does.

For customers, the wait time dropped and the stress of waiting was gone.

For our staff, they get more time to focus on customer service and other creative tasks, such as optimizing workflow, improving the way to present and display our bakery products, and more. These tasks offer our staff more sense of achievement than before.

Viscovery’s Visual Checkout system really helps a lot!

――Thank you, Mr. Satoi. We are very glad to learn what benefits Viscovery’s AI checkout system brings to Foodscape’s operation. Thank you for your time today.

The purpose of implementing AI is to free up staff labor time (thus increasing the value of human work), allowing them to perform more high-value and meaningful tasks.
▲ Viscovery’s AI-powered Visual Checkout system releases employees from the repetitive boring checkout tasks to higher-value works, which allow them to achieve their full potential at work