Mobile Commerce

Facebook Chatbot Takes On Restaurant Bookings

Appfront Turns Chatbots Into RSVPs

Facebook has hung its hat on the future of chatbots as a means of automated customer service, and when the social network provides such a platform, it was always a matter of time before smaller startups started leveraging that support.

Count Israeli startup AppFront as one of those innovators, as VentureBeat is reporting the company is releasing a chatbot called Order Bot to help restaurants conduct business over Facebook's burgeoning chatbot platform. Ori Weisler, CEO of AppFront, explained that Order Bot is intended to be the turnkey solution for smaller business who want a piece of the automated ordering pie without getting their hands dirtied up by the ingredients.

“Today, we are enabling Facebook’s 900 million Messenger users to order their favorite food via chatbots,” Weisler told VentureBeat. “Our Bots-as-a-Service solution — or BaaS, as we call it — enables every restaurant that signs up to our service to start taking orders from their customers via Messenger.”

Despite being based in Israel, AppFront also runs a satellite office in Boston, which has allowed it to forge an initial partnership with the fast-casual chain b.good. In 35 locations scattered across New England, Order Bot is facilitating the needs of health food nuts, while also introducing a new way of customer service to brick-and-mortar eateries.

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