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What We Learned Handling 5 Million AI Phone Bot Orders at Restaurants

Ever wondered how the latest advances in AI can help you process more orders and boost your bottom line?

We did. That’s why we built OrderAI, a smart AI platform that lets customers order by phone or text without any human involvement. We were experimenting with AI 5 years before ChatGPT was a thing. In that time, we processed over 5 million successful orders — and learned a lot.

This post covers:

  • How AI increased Jet Pizza’s annual revenue by 9%.
  • What makes OrderAI different from other chatbots.
  • How OrderAI handles the complexities of human language.

Let’s dive right in.

Meet OrderAI: ChatGPT’s Restaurant-Savvy Cousin

Source: HungerRush

HungerRush is not just another tech company. Our team was built by restaurant industry veterans who’ve been in your shoes. We know the challenges faced by businesses like yours — that’s why we developed OrderAI.

OrderAI is an AI platform that lets customers place orders by phone or text message. It uses natural language processing to process customer requests quickly and accurately. Lightyears ahead of the chatbots of the past, OrderAI processes orders in a way that feels anything but robotic.

Artificial intelligence is an algorithm designed to respond to stimuli, like questions about a food’s origin or asking for directions, to provide the best-fit response in a way that a human might.

Example: Apple’s Siri answers questions based on information it accesses in real time, as if it’s a human.

Natural Language Processing is an artificial intelligence technology that gives computers the ability to understand spoken words and text words in much the same way human beings can.

Example: ChatGPT is an AI chatbot that uses natural language processing to create humanlike conversational dialogue.

We designed OrderAI to automate manual ordering processes, free up staff to focus on other tasks, and upsell automatically. Here’s how it works:

  • You train OrderAI with your menu, prices, ingredients, and brand references.
  • Customers call your restaurant and order through the AI bot.
  • OrderAI confirms order details and repeats the order back to customers.
  • It will also attempt to upsell: Would you like to add breadsticks? 
  • OrderAI then takes payment details and ends the call.
  • Customers receive a confirmation text with delivery or collection ETA.

Throughout this process, customers can choose to engage with the AI or transfer to an in-store employee. The AI will automatically transfer the call if it detects frustration or has difficulty understanding the customer.

One of the early adopters of OrderAI was Jet’s Pizza. Spoilers — it was a resounding success. We processed over 5 million AI phone orders, drove up their revenue, and made their staff happier. Keep reading to find out how.

Learn More: Meet OrderAI Talk: The Restaurant Industry’s Most Sophisticated Voice Ordering Phone Bot

How Jet’s Pizza Became a Text Ordering Pioneer With OrderAI

It all started in 2018.

We were developing a new text ordering technology that we knew would be a good fit for pizza chains. At the time, there was a lot of investment in online ordering — but we saw a gap in the market for SMS orders.

After developing the first version of OrderAI, we started reaching out to pizza chains with our developmental data in hand.

Jet’s Pizza was one of the first chains to show interest. They understood that making ordering easier would improve the bottom line. They also saw the potential of our technology to help them reach new customers who were more likely to order pizza via text.

“This solution has been a big win for Jet’s. Store employees are less stressed because they are off the phones and focusing on the best part of the job — making pizzas. Our customers are getting a great experience with crystal-clear quality every time, accurate order details, and the ability to set up easy payment options.”

—Aaron Nilsson, CIO of Jet’s Pizza

We ran a pilot program with one corporate and one franchise location. The pilot was successful. OrderAI saved labor, with employees no longer having to leave the kitchen to answer calls and instead being able to focus their energy and attention on crafting great pizza. Customers ordered more, and more often, boosting Jet’s revenue. 

We accomplished all this without changing what made Jet’s great in the first place — meticulous attention to the customer experience.

After just three months, Jet’s gave the thumbs-up to sell to other stores. Within six months, we had 69 locations using our technology. By April 2020, that number had grown to 161.

Let’s take a closer look at the numbers.

Learn More: Restaurants Send More Customer Calls to Voice Bots Amid Staffing Shortages – WSJ 

Jet’s Pizza and OrderAI: A Powerful Combination

The results of the Jet’s Pizza pilot were not subtle. We saw a:

  • 92% order completion rate for phone bot customers
  • 14% more profit than for orders placed through third-party delivery services
  • 29% of customers who received text remarketing placed one or more orders
  • 20% of customers who used text ordering placed two or more orders per month
  • 9% increase in annual transactions 

We’ve since added hundreds of more stores, bringing our total to 240 stores in 20 states, together generating over $6 million per month through OrderAI.

We learned a lot working with Jet’s Pizza — specifically about the complexities of human language. Without getting too deep into linguistics, here are some of the hurdles OrderAI learned to clear by handling (literal) millions of successful orders:

Language Variations
Understanding that “regular” and “bone-in” wings are the same menu item.

 Food Metadata and Categories
Knowing which dishes are vegan or contain dairy. 

Multiple Speakers
Understanding who’s placing the order and who’s chatting in the background. 

Mid-Order Changes
Knowing when items already ordered are being removed or altered.

Unclear Modifiers and Tie-Breakers
Knowing a guest means sauce on the side when they say “pizza with BBQ sauce”. 

Problem Identification and Escalation
Hearing when a guest sounds confused or frustrated, and elevating the call to a human. 

Mid-Order Upsells
Creating personalized offers based on historical customer preferences and orders. 

Text Marketing Offers
Sending timely, personalized offers designed to incentivize reorders.

Each of those more than 5 million OrderAI orders helps create the largest dataset of natural language customer orders out there. We believe this database makes OrderAI the most accurate AI with a proven method for order completion and customer stickiness on the market.

“It just feels different in stores when the phone bot system is on. The tension is lower. … The crew feels more like a well-oiled machine. You get a better overall experience.

We’ve also seen less turnover as work stress has been reduced. The technology has created a better work environment for everyone and, let’s be honest, it’s really fun for our customers to use! 

Engaging and leveraging technologies such as AI and ML are not optional anymore. We see them as key competitive differentiators that position us as a market leader. With this type of technology, we have been able to greatly elevate our brand.”

—Aaron Nilsson

We proved to Jet’s Pizza that if you could get customers to use OrderAI, they’d order more often and more frequently. We also noticed that their second order happened a lot faster with OrderAI than with third-party apps or website orders. Translation? Increased customer order and frequency, increased customer lifetime value, and increased customer stickiness.

Learn More: 3 Ways Text Ordering Will Transform the Restaurant Industry

You Can’t Afford to Be Less Convenient than Your Competitors

Customers expect a fast and seamless ordering experience. But when it’s rush hour and your phones are ringing off the hook, that experience is easier said than done.

Tired of missed calls and long hold times? OrderAI never calls in sick, never forgets to upsell, and allows you to reposition staff where they’re needed — a lifesaver during the Friday night rush.

Want to know what happens when you make it even easier for customers to order from you?

Experience OrderAI for yourself.

The post What We Learned Handling 5 Million AI Phone Bot Orders at Restaurants appeared first on HungerRush.