The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) on Monday announced that passengers will soon be able to order food through a WhatsApp number.
WhatsApp communication for e-catering services will be implemented on selected trains and passengers first, an official statement read, adding that the services will be provided based on customer feedback and suggestions.
Meanwhile, the IRCTC is delivering meals on some of the routes through WhatsApp number +91 8750001323. It is now planning to extend the service to other trains as well.
It is to be mentioned that the first phase has already been implemented on some of the trains arriving from certain routes.
Accordingly, a business WhatsApp number sends a message to the customers booking e-ticket for opting in e-catering services by clicking on www.ecatering.irctc.co.in.
Hereafter, the customers are enabled to book meals of their choice from the restaurants of their choice available at stations en-route directly through the e-catering website of IRCTC without even requiring to download their App.
The next phase is when the interactive WhatsApp meal booking and delivery are planned.
Then, the WhatsApp number will be enabled to become an interactive two-way communication platform for the customer wherein an AI-powered chatbot will handle all queries of e-catering services for the passengers and book meals for them.
The IRCTC has commenced its e-catering services through a specially developed website www.catering.irctc.co.in as well its e-catering app 'Food on Track'.
It is worth mentioning that at present approximately 50,000 meals are being served in a day to the customers through IRCTC's e-catering services enabled through its website as well as app.