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Indian Railways introduces a new online food ordering service using WhatsApp

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd. (IRCTC), a PSU of Indian Railways, began offering e-catering services via its e-catering app Food on Track and a specially created website www.catering.irctc.co.in.

Indian Railways unveiled its new WhatsApp communication for the railway passengers to order food through e-catering services, taking a step further towards making its e-catering services more customer-centric. There is a dedicated business WhatsApp number for this: +91-8750001323.

E-catering services were initially to be implemented in two stages via WhatsApp Communication. First, a message from a business WhatsApp number will ask a customer who has purchased an e-ticket to choose e-catering services by visiting the website www.ecatering.irctc.co.in.

Customers will be able to book meals of their choice from restaurants of their choice that are located at stations along the route using this option, all without having to download an app.

A chatbot powered by artificial intelligence (AI) will answer any inquiries from passengers about e-catering services and will even make meal bookings for them as part of the next phase of the services. This would enable their WhatsApp number to transform into an interactive two-way communication platform.

Starting with a few trains and passengers, WhatsApp communication has been deployed for e-catering services. Based on customer feedback and suggestions, Railways will thereafter enable the same on other trains.

Currently, the IRCTC’s e-catering services, available through its website and app, offer about 50000 meals to consumers per day.

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