On July 23, Bo’s Coffee formally launched Botty, an advance ordering chatbot.

The idea behind the new platform (the first in the Philippine market) is simple: to order ahead of time using the chatbot (which is available through the Messenger app) and avoid long queues.

“When customers don’t have the time to line up, we have the platform for that. One of the best things about Botty is that it’s on the Messenger app, so anyone with a Facebook account can use it. There’s no need to download any app—we get to eliminate that barrier,” says Steve Benitez, Bo’s Coffee CEO.

Though the bot has been operating in five Bo’s Coffee branches since March, it was only in June that it was made available in more stores. Plans to expand the platform to other branches are already in the pipeline so as to streamline this service across all the coffee chain’s stores. 

Cary Gee, who developed Botty, says that the idea of creating such a technology was partly borne out of personal experience. “I’ve been in the restaurant industry for years, running F&B businesses, and this [long queues] is a problem I realized should have a solution that’s made by a user and for the user. The idea behind Botty is to make things more convenient for customers by eliminating any kind of friction that’s unavoidable in face-to-face transactions.”

Using the advance ordering chatbot is just as simple as the rationale behind its creation: On the Messenger app, search for Bo’s Coffee Advance Ordering Botty. Send your location or choose the Bo’s Coffee branch that’s nearest your location. The bot will then offer a menu from which you can tap your drink of choice. After 15 minutes, you can skip the queue, present your collection number to the cashier, and claim your order.

As of writing, the chatbot is only accessible through the Messenger app, but the team is working on making it available through different messaging apps, next of which is Viber. 

As for the payment methods, Botty accepts online payment via Visa or MasterCard credit and debit cards, Paymaya, and cash. Soon, other online payment options will be accepted such as GrabPay. Delivery service will also be available soon via GrabExpress.

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