Will these new MIDDLE CLASS self-service checkouts make shopping more enjoyable at Waitrose?

A source within the supermarket chain Waitrose has confirmed that a trial of MIDDLE CLASS self-service checkouts is about to begin in a ‘limited number of stores.’ According to an email that has been seen by Southend News Network, a common complaint by customers of Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda is that existing self-service checkouts are ‘horribly working class’ in nature, and the John Lewis-backed supermarket has funded a groundbreaking piece of software that can recognise the type of customer that is being served, before coming up with intelligent and relevant conversation to create the ‘perfect customer service experience.’

The retail artificial intelligence experts at Howdo Co. have developed both the software and computer-based tills themselves, and their chief engineer Malcolm Pennyfarthing spoke EXCLUSIVELY to Southend News Network. He said: ‘Existing self-service checkouts are monotonous, patronising and terribly common – all of this is about to change in a branch of Waitrose very soon! A camera is attached to every screen, and within 1/10 of a second it has recognised the most likely socio-demographic group for the customer. For example, when a 30-something lady in lycra is making a purchase, the checkout will suggest one of 500 potential yoga workouts from an ever-evolving list that is based online, and the receipt will include a recipe for one of 25 different superfood smoothies. Alternatively, if the checkout detects overalls that are covered in paint or a similar stain, it will ask if the customer if they have picked up a complimentary copy of the Daily Mail when spending more than £5. There are literally millions of different conversations that are suited to every single type of customer.’

Mr Pennyfarthing added: ‘The technology that we have developed is also being installed on a pilot group of machines that deliver complimentary coffee to MyWaitrose members in store. Our retail floor analysis showed that many elderly people are bewildered by the touchscreen, and so on these trial machines a loud but welcoming voice will talk them through each stage of the process until they have safely added the lid to their hot drink. As an added benefit, it will also automatically change the names of each coffee to ‘black coffee,’ ‘quite frothy coffee’ and ‘very frothy coffee.’ Additionally, it will also detect when someone has inserted a non-Waitrose cup, Thermos flask or The North Face hot drink container underneath the coffee spout and tell them in no uncertain terms that they need to get an approved cup from the Customer Service desk – a 120dB klaxon-based alarm is optional at the discretion of the store manager.’


  1. Do you mean Waitrose is to start serving middle class people?

    Here in Kensington we wouldn’t expect Harrods to lower its standards.