Text Rex is a free texting recommendation service for restaurants in New York City for now. It has a dinosaur as a mascot and has very efficient humans responding to requests from registered Text Rex users to find the perfect restaurant for their situation between 8:30 a.m. and 11 p.m. This unique chatbot was first launched in New York where it created quite a sensation.
On the day it was launched, the number of people who signed up for the service was around 4,000, and today it has around 35,000 registered users just in New York City. On average, the team handles around 500 requests every day from users planning a great dining experience.
Text Rex is the brainchild of music industry professionals, Andrew Steinthal, and Chris Stang, who founded an enterprise called ‘The Infatuation’ that aimed at young diners although just about anybody is free to check out what The Infatuation website offered. They launched the hashtag #EEEEEATS which has been used more than 7 million times on Instagram but despite all that, they found that offering dining ideas with a human touch is more likely to help them cultivate a deeper connection with users. And that was how they came upon the idea of Text Rex.
Following the tremendous response to Text Rex from New Yorkers, Stang said, “At first we thought, ‘what have we done? But we couldn’t start something then put it back in the box. People were excited and happy they could connect with someone. It’s a bridge between automation and a human audience.” He felt AI solutions can’t “give people value in a fun, trustworthy way.” His partner, Steinthal says, “We have an engaged audience because we’re a discovery platform. Our secret sauce is that people trust us. We put brands and restaurants on our audience’s radar.”