In five weeks we usher in 2018 and one of the undercurrents of change that will be hear but not seen is the foodservice trend of voice activated ordering according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®
I have been using my Google home more and more every week and it seems as if every week there is just one more thing that I find that like and use. Well now here is one more Google Assistant, which can be on your iPhone, Google Phone, Android devise or Google Home recently announced that Panera Bread was becoming one of the first national concepts to offer the ability to order via voice for delivery and Rapid Pick-Up with the Google Assistant on their mobile devices.
My Panera members in select cities including St. Louis and Silicon Valley at participating locations are eligible to place and pay for their orders using the virtual personal assistant platform. Panera expects the rollout to go national by the end of 2017 so get ready as voice ordering will be big in 2018 according to Johnson.
Here is how it works “Guests can tell Google Assistant, “OK Google, ask Panera for delivery,” or “OK Google, talk to Panera.” The Panera app will then pop up and show users the menu. It will also suggest past items based on history and take the guest through the menu. You can then pay from saved wallet information.”
Why is this so important Ron Shaich, Panera’s founder, chairman, and CEO, in a statement “About 30 percent of total company-wide sales are digital at this point, Since it launched Panera 2.0 in 2014, the chain has grown with Rapid Pick-Up, Fast Lane Kiosks, Catering, and Delivery.’
How must is that? “With more than 1.3 Million digital orders placed a week at Panera, there is a clear demand for voice-activated ordering methods, and this integration with Google is a step towards an even better guest experience,” according to Shaich.
Blaine Hurst, Panera’s president stated “Voice-activated ordering powered by artificial intelligence is the future. We know the industry is in its infancy….. “While we know we still have a lot to learn, we’re proud to develop, test and refine this capability in partnership with Google. In the long run, the ease and convenience will be meaningful to our guests. In fact, placing a voice-activated order in many cases is more than 80 percent faster than a traditional app order.”Leaders lead and when Panera leads expect other to follow according to Johnson. Other brands the ilk of Wingstop, Domino’s, Pizza Hut have added Voice-activated ordering. 2018 is only five weeks away how are you adding customer relevance to your brand? Don’t know? www.FoodserviceSolutions.us or Email the Grocerant Guru® at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us