New Delhi: Train passengers would soon be able to order food through a WhatsApp number, with an interactive Artificial Intelligence-enabled chatbot handling their queries on e-catering and booking meals.
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is already delivering meals on certain routes through WhatsApp number +91 8750001323.
“WhatsApp communication for e-catering services implemented on selected trains and passengers. Based on customer feedback and suggestions, the company will enable the same on other trains,” the Railways said in a statement on Monday.
The IRCTC has started e-catering services through a specially developed website www.catering.irctc.co.in as well its e-catering app ‘Food on Track’, it said.
The implementation of e-catering services through WhatsApp was envisaged in two phases.
The first phase has already been implemented, Under this, a business WhatsApp number sends a message to the customers booking e-ticket for opting in e-catering services by clicking on www.ecatering.irctc.co.in.
They are then enables to book meals of their choice from the restaurants of their choice available at stations enroute directly through the e-catering website of IRCTC without even requiring to download the App.
The next phase is when the interactive WhatsApp meal booking and delivery are planed.
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Under this, the WhatsApp number will be enabled to become an interactive two way communication platform for the customer wherein an AI-powered chatbot will handle all queries of e-catering services for the passengers and book meals for them.
Currently, approximately 50,000 meals are being served in a day to the customers through IRCTC’s e-catering services enabled through its website as well as app.
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