Hack.Asia Challenge
Cooking With AI and Big Data
For Students & Innovators

How can Microsoft Hong Kong (MSHK) help Jardine Restaurant Group (JRG) and the wider F&B industry leverage AI and Big Data to better understand consumers, as well as to improve the customer experience and overall restaurant operations amid today’s new normal?

About Our Companies

Jardine Restaurant Group (JRG) operates over 890 outlets with more than 27,000 employees under Pizza Hut in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, and Myanmar, together with KFC in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Given its size, any solution for the company will need to be scalable and adaptable across various business units, thus the generated benefit would warrant the investment and resources (i.e. disruption to operation) needed for implementation.


Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.

The Challenge

Customers have an ocean of choice. In cities such as Hong Kong, customers enjoy ample variety; with growing pressures on leisure time and added convenience of new tech, consumers increasingly expect a seamless O2O experience. They want to research restaurants and cafés online before deciding which to dine at. They value personalisation and are serviced by multiple apps and platforms in the market vying for their loyalty.

Building customer loyalty, or ‘stickiness’, is becoming more difficult. For retailers, building customer loyalty requires understanding the customer and consistently delivering a positive experience. Can – and should – operators collect data along the entire customer journey from the point of initial research, to booking, to purchase and consumption? How can this information be collected securely while protecting consumers’ data privacy and best leveraged to deliver tailored offerings for customers?

Enhancing traceability to provide transparency. Traceability has emerged as a hot topic in the F&B industry as customers focus more on food safety and sustainability. Operators are turning to Big Data tools to ensure transparency throughout the supply chain by predicting shelf-life, storage conditions, environmental demographics, and contamination levels in the air, as well as relying on predictive models to assist with inventory control to reduce the risk of inventory shortages and stockouts.

Swiftly responding to COVID-19 and changing consumer behaviour: Covid-19 is altering customers’ behavior with people relying more on food delivery and takeaways services. Food delivery, however, is complex and operators constantly juggle uncontrollable elements, against bottlenecks and peak hour demands. A system that can effectively monitor and better understand elements like traffic, weather, current climates, route changes, construction interruptions, and distance is crucial for operators to tap extra capacity.

Being on the front foot of transformation. Transformations – from system enhancement to operation flow modifications, to new ways of analysing data – are generally met with skepticism in the F&B Industry. Quick service restaurants (QSR) is a high-volume business that relies heavily on labour. A key challenge to deliver transformation is reluctance and fear held by stakeholders of the potential impact of disruption on revenue. It is extremely critical that all solutions must be user-friendly, intuitive, painless, and offer minimal disruption.

  • AI and Big Data are arguably two of the hottest opportunities, and pressures, facing operators in the Food and Beverage (F&B) industry today. The ability to create more tailored product and service offerings, more agile operations, and seamless online-to-offline (O2O) experiences, are some of the many ways AI and Big Data are revolutionising the sector.
  • But in this highly-dynamic industry – where barriers to entry are low and products must evolve with rapidly changing consumer tastes and demands – many operators are feeling overwhelmed by massive volumes of information and the seemingly insurmountable task of bridging the gap between traditional mindset and being technology-focused, all while dealing with a period of unprecedented challenge and uncertainty.
  • Access to a range of data relating to restaurant operations such as store locations, customer traffic by region, etc
  • Expert mentors from JRG and Microsoft Leadership Team
  • Guidance on prototyping via Azure
  • Case studies on F&B retail solutions
The Prizes
Grand Prize
Grand Prize
Grand Winning

• HKD 50,000 cash prize

Challenge Winner
Challenge Winner
Students & Innovators

• HKD 20,000 cash prize

• Internship opportunities with JRG

• Presentation in front of the JRG and Microsoft Leadership Team

• Experience Day at Microsoft Hong Kong

BONUS: Accelerate your solution with HSBC
More Info
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Innovate the Sustainable Future
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