As of now, Alexa or Google Assistant’s use in dining out is centered more around at-home, consumer experiences. A quick glance through the restaurant related Alexa skills show an emphasis on discovery, information and ordering.
Many restaurant operators have been reluctant to turn to technology for fear of alienating a guest. They’re worried the staff would be staring at an iPad and not making eye contact with the guest when the guest walked in. Even with the old reservation books that you can imagine restaurants using 50 years ago, and now iPads, someone has to look down to access information. Voice eliminates the interface — it becomes the interface.
According to the National Restaurant Association, there are more than 1 million restaurant locations in the U.S. generating $799 billion in sales. One million on its own isn’t huge, but with some creative thinking, you could easily envision multiple devices deployed per restaurant, plus all the data captured from in-store interactions and you can see restaurants becoming a front in the voice assistant battle worth fighting over.
We’ve put together a few potential uses for Alexa / Google Assistant inside a dining out:
Instead of a dumb, inert buzzer that flashes and vibrates when your table is ready, modify an Echo Dot to be the messenger. Instead of bugging the host, patrons could ask Alexa/Google Assistant how much longer the wait time is, and be alerted when they can be seated. If you wanted to get real adventurous, in the right setting, you could even do ongoing interactive trivia games to keep people entertained.
With its touch screen, an Echo Show would be an excellent way to show menu items, explain more about ingredients, and highlight popular dishes. You could also enable ordering and payment for a more streamlined experience.
Back of house.
Alexa/Google Assistant could be used for quick ordering of ingredients, equipment or other sundries which, of course, could be fulfilled by Amazon that day. It could also be used to alert employees about their break times and inform them of any news or specials.
Communication back home.
By gathering real time data inside a restaurant, Alexa/Google Assistant at home could provide better, more informed real-time decisions about where and when to eat at a particular establishment.
Order Earlier, Drive Through Faster.
With Echo auto that is Alexa for automobiles in your car, you can order food 10-15 min prior to you reaching the location. In this way, your food will be prepared and ready to be taken away as soon as you reach the venue.
Easy Ordering at Drive Throughs.
Instead of manually taking drive through orders, restaurants can strategically place their voice assistant devices at the windows to take the orders and send them to the kitchen.
There’s a pretty small needle to thread in terms of the types of restaurant voice control will work. Too loud and voice control is useless and you can’t hear Alexa talk. Too quiet and voice control is annoying for everyone else.
We are still in the early stages of voice assistants and how far into our lives they will go. But as they get better, restaurant owners may not want to wait until the holidays to get their own.
In case you are a restaurant owner and want to get an Alexa Skill or a Google Action developed for your business, do get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. One of our voice technology experts would sit back with you to discuss your requirements better.