Creative problem-solving to reduce cafe wait times

A client was looking for ways to eliminate a major pain-point for their employees. Because this client offered free coffee and pastries with a fully staffed barista experience, lines tended to be astronomical. It was a nightmare for the staff to manage, and was cutting into employment productivity.

ClientEmergeYear2021LeadDylan MaxwellShare:

Project Highlights

  • Developed chatbot that integrated with cafe’s menu and employees messaging platform - Slack
  • Employees were able to hyper-personalize their favorite items and remain working without having to wait in a line
  • Eliminated large crowds of guests standing around a cafe’s pick-up area
  • Operator roles were streamlined and boosted workplace satisfaction

Our Approach

    • Experience When developing the solution, we had to keep in mind the key pain-points that needed to be eliminated. MDG made sure to consider thinking about solutions via an employee-lens. Communication with the Chatbot had to be natural, all menu items had to be accounted for and recognized by the Chatbot, and employees would need the ability to customize their options given diet-restrictions and the consumer expectation for hyper-personalization.
    • Feedback Loop When making adjustments to the solution, the feedback loop largely consisted of user-testing and ensuring the Chatbot technology within Slack was operating correctly with engaging and correct responses. The team then made note of any nonsensical responses and the Slack ordering solution was updated as needed. The solution also had to make sense from an operational lens, thus, contact with cafe staff was essential in making sure the new ordering system was not causing any extraordinary issues.
    • Design The design component revolved around the accessibility, aesthetics, and readability of the Chatbot within the Slack interface. The user had to be able to clearly decipher responses – this included simple-to-read messages, organized and streamlined response layout, and engaging emojis and language that provided a relatable feel to the ordering interface.
    • Development

      All development was done in-house by our coding wizards to create a perfectly crafted and personalized experience for the client’s employees. Chatbot curation, operator communication regarding orders, and eventual integration into the Slack platform were key steps in the deployment process.


The Result

MDG delivered an accessible, efficient, and engaging Slack ordering platform for the employees of a client’s cafe space. The chatbot was accessible via the employees’ main communication method in Slack and provided the guest with an easy-to-use ordering platform for their favorite cafe items. This resulted in efficiencies for both the employees and the cafe staff. Employees were able to order from their desk and could continue with their busy day without having to wait in a crowd or line for their daily food/beverage order. Cafe staff operations were streamlined by eliminating order miscommunications at the register (simple KDS displays) and eliminating an angry mob of customers waiting for their daily dose of caffeine.

“May I have a latte with oat milk, caramel syrup, light sugar, and a cold foam top?” “No problem - we will notify you when it’s ready.”

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