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Machine Learning To Optimize Wait-Time For Better Customer Experience

One of the largest full-service dining companies in the world with premium chain of franchise restaurants wanted to leverage machine learning to predict how long customers will have to wait for their order to be served in order to improve customer experience.

87%

prediction accuracy

The Bitwise solution resulted in 87% prediction accuracy

Improved speed of service

Robust data analytics system enabled a faster delivery

Improved tracking of delays & inefficiency

ML & AI enabled efficient tracking of factors affecting service

Increased customer base

Quicker service & deliveries improved customer experience

Bitwise - Predicting Order Wait Time

Overview

The hospitality and travel industry is increasingly leveraging digital and data solutions to improve the efficiency of their service processes, in addition to creating highly personalized service offerings for better customer experience, pricing and segmentation. The latest trends in machine learning and AI have made a significant impact in this, helping to create and fortify lean processes for more efficiency.

A Bitwise client and one of the largest full-service dining companies in the world with a premium chain of franchise restaurants catering to diverse demographics, sought to improve service experience for its customers. The hospitality giant leveraged a machine learning solution designed by Bitwise to predict order-wait-time with maximum accuracy and get insight into the factors that were leading to delays and inefficiency.

Challenges

The focus of the initiative was to determine how long customers have to wait for their order in both online and table-top order scenarios. Accurately predicting this through a real-time analysis required navigating through the following key data challenges: 

  • Manual order time estimation riddled with inaccuracies 
  • Limited factors available in real-time 
  • Online and table-top orders data segregation 

As is the case with most of the predictive modelling initiatives, data curation was the primary hurdle that required efficiently navigating diverse data points in real-time.

The client perspective behind the partnership 

The company was familiar with Bitwise’s extensive experience in data and digital solutions, owing to the continued collaboration for different projects over the past few years. Extending the scope of the partnership was a strategic decision backed by the following key factors: 

  • 24+ years of experience in data & digital
  • Deep domain expertise  
  • A comprehensive suite of AI & ML solutions 
  • Expert talent  
  • Collaborative approach 
  • Agile methodology 

Our Approach: “Qualitative improvement in customer experience” 

Enabling a data-rich prediction system required a robust prediction model with due consideration for different variables to achieve maximum accuracy. Apart from internal service factors, it also took into consideration external factors that may have been inducing long order-wait-times. 

The solution roadmap included the following key components: 

  • Data gathering & data modeling strategies
  • Strategy to distinguish real-time (high frequency) and static (low frequency) 
  • Implementation of caching technique for static factors in DynamoDB 
  • Development of statistical standardization methods and advanced features engineering for online and table-top order segregation 
  • Real-time predictions using end-to-end pipelines on AWS Lambda and API gateway 
  • Integrated APIs for order lifecycle maintenance with notifications 

How Bitwise solution aligned with client’s vision 

The Bitwise predictive model helped in maintaining order lifecyle core while tracking the key service-related patterns. It also helped the restaurants effectively outline trends with maximum possible accuracy, enabling higher personalization and better customer service.  

It answered the following key questions: 

  • How long a customer has to wait for online & table-top orders? 
  • What are the factors leading to longer wait-times and affecting customer experience? 
  • How are longer wait-times affecting the business? 
  • What are the opportunities for digital products to drive and increase interactions? 

The implemented solution with well-integrated APIs led to the following benefits as envisioned by the client: 

  • Accurate predictions 
  • Reductions in wait-time  
  • Controlled order flow 
  • Ahead-of-time order facility 
  • Reduction in the dependency on manual attendants 
  • Improved service efficiency 
  • Enhanced customer experience  
  • Increased website and mobile app usage 

Transformation that followed 

Machine learning and AI are proving to be key drivers for cost efficiency and higher personalization in the hospitality industry by elevating the experience of every customer, leading to sustainable growth. 

The Bitwise client successfully leveraged machine learning to minimize the negative service experience affecting the business while simultaneously increasing efficiency across all restaurant functions. It also utilized the opportunities for digital interactions through its website and mobile app, significantly boosting orders on both weekdays and weekends.

Technology

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