TGI Fridays And Beverage Brand Dirty Lemon Embracing Conversational Commerce

What Happened
Two more brands have jumped on the bandwagon of conversational commerce to better serve their customers on messaging apps. Restaurant chain TGI Fridays recently struck a partnership with chatbot startup Conversable to roll out a service chatbot on Facebook Messenger that can help customers find the nearest TGI Fridays and take reservations at select locations, a first in the casual dining industry.

Upmarket beverage brand Dirty Lemon, on the other hand, is using an SMS-based system to power its new customer experience. The company worked with cloud communications startup Twilio to create the infrastructure for handling all customer interactions through texting. They are using Stripe to process payments. Customers can text the brand in natural language and see all their needs, from product inquiries to reordering, fulfilled without leaving the chat.

What Brands Need To Do
As we pointed out in our Medium post on branded chatbots, they serve as a great tool for handling basic customer service and goal-oriented tasks. The rise of conversational commerce points to changing consumer behavior on mobile and a shift in brand-customer interaction. A recent study found that most consumers now prefer to use messaging to interact with businesses rather than calling. Therefore, other brands should take note and start developing a strategy for conversational commerce.

The Lab has extensive knowledge about building consumer-facing chatbots. If you’re interested in reaching your audience on messaging apps, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland ([email protected]) for more information or to schedule a visit to the Lab.


Sources: PR Newswire & Fast Company


TechWreck: The TGI Friday’s Mistletoe Drone

‘Tis the season, and this year, restaurant chain TGI Friday’s has been trying to add a little holiday merriness—with a serious misuse of drones.

The restaurant chain meant well. It first rolled out the mistletoe-carrying drone program in the UK a month ago in an attempt to “help people get a little closer at this time of year”. The drones also carry cameras to take pictures of the kissing couples, who are then rewarded with gift certificates for their PDA and holiday spirit.

After seeing initial positive feedback, the company quickly brought the drones across the Atlantic, hoping to spread some holiday kisses across the States. But alas, it was right here in New York City that the mistletoe drone drew its first blood. Georgine Benvenuto, a photographer from Brooklyn Daily, was in the Sheepshead Bay TGI Friday’s when she was unfortunately hit in the face by a flying drone. The blades kept spinning and blood was shed.

Although an isolated incident, this accident points to a larger problem with the commercial use of drones. When it comes to using unarmed aerial vehicles (UAVs) like this in public space, brands need to carefully weigh issues like practicality, safety, and privacy before deploying them as stunt marketing. The bottom line here is, drones can be used in many productive ways, but delivering mistletoes in a busy restaurant is probably not one of them.


Image from the YouTube Video TGI Fridays Launch #Togethermas Mistletoe Drones