How a UK pub restaurant chain automates 70% of guest phone calls

Industry

Restaurants

Use Cases

  • Bookings
  • Frequently asked questions
  • SMS

Challenge

30% of all phone calls were missed, meaning the restaurant was missing out on bookings and associated revenues.

Solution

A voice assistant that takes, edits and cancels reservations, and answers FAQs over the phone.

Result

70% of calls are fully handled by the voice assistant and the restaurant is able to take reservation calls 24/7/365.


 

Challenge

During busy periods, restaurant staff would be focused on greeting guests, serving tables, and taking orders. Trouble hiring enough staff resulted in phones ringing out.

As a result, 30% of calls weren’t being answered. Each missed call presented a potential missed revenue opportunity, but hiring dedicated staff to answer calls was too expensive.

The company trialed a contact center to reduce the number of missed calls to its 140 restaurants.

However, this approach was only cost-efficient for larger sites. They needed a way to answer every call and recover lost revenue without hiring extra staff.

Customer-led conversations, at scale.

PolyAI developed a voice assistant that can take reservations and answer questions over the phone. The voice assistant can answer questions about specific individual sites, as well as brand-level queries.

Freeing up staff to focus on guests on-site meant the voice assistant needed to be flexible enough for calls to engage freely while sticking to business logic to collect the necessary information to make, edit or cancel a reservation.

Callers can speak freely, booking tables for “me and my friend”

instead of 2 people or stating they are celiac, and the voice assistant understands and takes the necessary actions.

As a national chain, it was key that the voice assistant could understand callers in a broad range of regional accents. PolyAI’s proprietary Spoken Language Understanding (SLU) stack is perfect for this, as it works to ”fix” speech recognition errors caused by accents or background noise in real time.

After an initial launch at just six sites, PolyAI scaled deployment to 140 sites across the UK.

Using caller insights to maximize revenue opportunities.

Before deploying a PolyAI voice assistant, the restaurant had no data or insight into what days guests were calling, how big party sizes were on particular days, and when callers were asking for tables.

PolyAI provided site managers with structured data that gave
insight into how to configure booking slots and seating arrangements to accommodate more guests safely, generate more revenue, and reduce the number of customers they were unnecessarily turning away.

Results

100%

calls answered, staff are freed up to focus on customers on site.

70%

calls fully contained by automating reservations and FAQs.

3%

revenue uplift due to the voice assistant answering previously missed reservations.

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 drive measurable business value.

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