This Startup Is Using Facebook Messenger To Deliver Food To Office Workers

Sydney startup HowAboutEat provides a service that allows office workers to order lunch with just one click — or rather, one message — and it's now expanding that service to include a Facebook Messenger chat-bot.

When Facebook introduced its chat-bot API for businesses earlier this year, it promised it would revolutionise the way we did business — and businesses are already jumping to be the first to be able to use the platform to get ahead.

HowAboutEat partners with registered companies to offer busy office workers a super simple way to order lunch, with companies such as Virgin, Deloitte, Newscorp and ANZ already on board. Employees are sent a lunch offer each day, either a meat-based or vegetarian meal depending on their preference, and all they have to do to order it is reply with 'yes'. Delivery is charged at a flat rate of only $1. Customers can also pre-order a weekly menu in advance over email.

While the service previously operated over two different platforms — email and text message — the integration of a Facebook Messenger bot opens up even more options for HowAboutEat. The platform has the ability to send automated structured messages that can embed images, links and call to action buttons — not to mention an active monthly userbase of 900 million people.

"We are very excited about offering our customers a new channel to place their orders," said HowAboutEat's co-founder Serg Metelin. "Via the Facebook bot we are able to provide a much richer experience – and the possibilities are much superior compared to the limited capabilities of standard SMS and MMS."

The new platform is all about making it even easier for people to use the service, which already has a number of advantages over traditional food delivery services, says HowAboutEat CoFounder Giovanni Ravone.

"As we deliver lunch to office spaces, we are able to deliver multiple meals to a single location – and we can charge a lower delivery fee to individual customers," he said. "Also, our simple ordering process is tailored to the needs of a busy office worker who has no time to go online and browse endless options to make a food order. They appreciate that they can order lunch in less than five seconds and at a much more convenient price point."

HowAboutEat currently operates in and around the Sydney CBD, with a number of companies signed up for its service. On HowAboutEat's website you can see the companies currently signed up, or add your own company to the list.

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