KFC Employees Can Fry Chicken in Virtual Reality

August 24, 2017, 4:42 PM UTC

KFC is tapping virtual reality to improve its employees’ chicken frying skills.

The fast food chain said Thursday that it’s debuting an employee-training program in which chefs learn to cook a batch of the company’s signature fried chicken inside a virtual kitchen.

The training program was designed to resemble a game in which participants complete the five steps required to make fried chicken in a style to KFC’s liking. This includes inspecting, rinsing, breading, racking, and then pressure frying virtual chickens.

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KFC said that it takes about 25 minutes for employees to fry chicken, but the virtual reality program only takes 10 minutes to complete. A KFC spokesperson said in an email that, “The VR isn’t meant to speed up the process, it is to teach cooks how to make the world-famous Original Recipe fried chicken.”

The game was developed by the technology group of ad agency Wieden+Kennedy and is intended to be played on the Facebook-owned (FB) Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

It’s unclear just how big of a roll out KFC is planning for its VR training game, which could be a marketing stunt to generate publicity for KFC, considering that an advertising firm built the VR program. Food site Eater noted that KFC has recently tried other publicity stunts including a takeout box that also charges phones and a bucket for holding chicken that also functions as a Bluetooth photo printer.

A KFC spokesperson told Eater, “The game is intended to supplement the existing Chicken Mastery program, not replace it.”

“This is intended to be a fun way to celebrate the work KFC’s more than 19,000 cooks do every day in every restaurant across the U.S. in an engaging way,” the spokesperson said.

1. Story updated on Thursday 3:50 PM PST to correct how the VR tech is being used.

2. Story updated on Friday 12:30 PM PST for more information on the program.

A KFC spokesperson told Fortune in an email that the VR tech would be “traveling to KFC’s regional general manager training classes, quarterly franchise meetings, and employee onboarding.” The fast food chain is currently using five Oculus Rift headsets, the spokesperson said.


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