Pizza Hut trials Pepper robot ordering service in Singapore

Softbank's Pepper robot will take orders for pineapple-covered pizza (and all other types, too) for two weekends in the sunny island.

Aloysius Low Senior Editor
Aloysius Low is a Senior Editor at CNET covering mobile and Asia. Based in Singapore, he loves playing Dota 2 when he can spare the time and is also the owner-minion of two adorable cats.
Aloysius Low
2 min read

Pepper the robot now takes your order for pizzas, and doesn't discriminate if you like pineapples on them.

Aloysius Low/CNET

For two weekends, Pizza Hut customers at an outlet in Singapore can talk to an adorable robot called Pepper to get their pizzas.

Users who find ordering from human servers mundane will be able to chat with Softbank Robotics' Pepper robot, who will be on duty at the outlet in Punggol, a suburb in the island state. The trial is a result of a partnership by Mastercard , Softbank and Pizza Hut.

To do so, a user will need to download the Pizza Hut app, sign in with Mastercard's Masterpass, and then connect to the robot via a four-digit PIN.

If this sounds tedious, well, it gets worse. From the demo I saw, Pepper didn't quite seem capable of processing natural language, so orders had to be made step by step. You just can't say you want one large Hawaiian pizza at table four, you have to reply to each prompt on type, size and quantity as well as hold up a QR code for your table.

Whether this will turn out to be a success remains to be seen, as Pepper hasn't really found success outside of Japan, where it's sometimes available at hotel lobbies as a virtual concierge. Pepper was recently fired from a Scottish grocery, after an underwhelming performance.

Mastercard did not say if the trial would be extended past its two weekends, but did not rule out the robot staying on for a permanent gig if customers liked it.

Blockchain Decoded:  CNET looks at the tech powering bitcoin -- and soon, too, a myriad of services that will change your life.

iHate: CNET looks at how intolerance is taking over the internet.