Pizza Hut UK has been working on the technology in partnership with Swedish eye tracking firm, Tobii Technology, for six months, to create the world’s first digital menu which is now being rolled out across the chain’s refurnished restaurants.
The menu, which is completely controlled by the customer’s retina, is displayed on a tablet and features images of 20 commonly used Pizza Hut ingredients.
In 2.5 seconds, the subconscious menu knows which ingredients the customer’s eyes have been looking at longest.
The menu then uses a powerful mathematical algorithm to identify, from 4896 possible ingredient combinations, the customer’s perfect pizza.
If the user isn’t happy with their personalised pizza, they can easily start the process again with a quick glance of the re-start button.
According to Dr Simon Moore, a chartered consumer psychologist, everyone’s relationship with food is different and our subconscious plays an important role in the foods we decide to eat.
“We have quite an extensive subconscious relationship with our food and it’s certainly the case psychologically that ‘we eat with our eyes’. Quick brain responses are probably hardwired to our evolutionary survival reflex. We are automatically drawn to foods that give us more nutrition– it is a safety mechanism we’ve inherited from primitive man that still plays a role in our subconscious decision making, even when we might be choosing pizza,” Moore said.
Kathryn Austin head of marketing, Pizza Hut, said the menu was a unique way to reinvent the dining experience.
“We love to excite and innovate. This year we’ve redesigned restaurants up and down the country and launched a brand new menu with lots tasty new options. But we don’t just want to stop there. We wanted to try a few ideas on the traditional menu format and we’re delighted to have developed the world’s first subconscious menu.”
It is understood the technology will rollout next to the US, depending on it success in the UK.