In the midst of rising concerns over global health and safety issues, PepsiCo sought an innovative and hygienic upgrade to the ordering process. Method helped PepsiCo design and build a first-of-its-kind, touchless kiosk. Accomplishing this task required translating hand gestures into reliable, readable intent, and designing an interface that users would find intuitive to operate.

We developed and tested the kiosk both in a controlled lab environment and a real KFC restaurant. Method built the hardware kiosk and developed the UI flow to support the complete ordering experience. To enable the most robust research, we also created 3D renderings of the restaurant to identify the kiosk’s ideal location and integrated the prototype with the restaurant's CMS and POS systems.

70% of first-time users described the kiosk as easy, intuitive, fast, and safe. Compared to standard touch kiosks in the restaurant, the new experience sold more food and an equal amount of beverages.


Experience Design
Research & Insights
Portfolio Alignment
Product Design
Software Engineering

“What we’re doing is to develop applications and experiences that are delightful, helpful and transformative”

Mia Sorgi, Director of Digital Product and Experience, PepsiCo Europe

Translating gestures into intent

The Challenge

Touchless screens are currently competent at recognizing that there's a human hand in front of them.

However, our particular use case required more nuanced gesture recognition, turning them into reliable, readable intentions. Beyond selecting items, we needed to empower customers to explore menus, select and customize options, and finalize their orders, all without touching the screen.

Customers also needed to intuitively understand what to do with their hands to place their orders effortlessly - and have a delightful experience along the way.

Iterative hardware prototyping


To address the first challenge of gesture recognition, we deepened our technological understanding of the opportunities that touchless screens offer. We experimented and researched a variety of interaction scenarios to develop an advanced model.

We then took an existing kiosk form factor and applied this to our model, building a prototype in Unity, the world’s leading platform for creating and operating interactive, real-time 3D (RT3D) content.

Before field-testing the prototype at a KFC in Europe, we also needed to understand the typical customer journey.

Combining camera and LiDAR data, we created a 1:1 scale CAD model of the restaurant to identify high-priority touchpoints and the optimum location for the kiosk.

In parallel, we integrated the prototype with the restaurant's content management system (CMS) and point-of-sale (POS) systems, built the hardware kiosk, and developed the user interface (UI) flow to support ordering from the full menu.

Multifaceted customer research

Research process

To begin, we tested the experience with KFC customers in a controlled lab environment to identify any issues with the interaction model and interface, iteratively refining the prototype as we went.

In our first iteration, we implemented body tracking to increase the stability and robustness of the kiosk interaction. We learned that customers wanted to interact with the kiosk the same way they might use a touchscreen due to their previous experiences.

Next, we updated the model to reflect this insight and lean into customers’ expectations. Re-testing resulted in significant improvement in customer satisfaction.

During our final lab session, we tested different onboarding strategies to expedite customers’ familiarity and comfort with the experience. We then ran a nine-day field test at a KFC in Poland, allowing real customers to interact with the experience.

To understand the results of this research phase, we combined qualitative observations and quantitative surveys in order to understand how users responded to the kiosk in context and gain greater insights into their experience.

We also incorporated interaction and transactional data analysis. This allowed us to understand how customers physically interacted with the kiosk. This also helped compare basket size and understand the breakdown of transactions by food and beverage across all the location’s kiosks (touchscreen and touchless) and the counter.

Boosted sales and satisfaction


Customers not only enjoyed using these innovative kiosks – they spent even more per order compared to other ordering methods. 70% of first-time users described the kiosk as easy, intuitive, fast, and safe. While 15% reported a learning curve, they were still able to work through it and complete their orders.

The new kiosk sold a higher amount of food and an equal proportion of beverages compared to standard touch kiosks in the restaurant. It was popular with early adopters, including Gen Z and Millennials. 75% of users said they would recommend the touchless kiosk to a friend and 85% of users said they would use it in the future, demonstrating an affinity for the new experience.