- A growing number of consumers use voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant to seek information about where to dine, according to a survey by data management firm Yext shared with Mobile Marketer. Four out of five respondents already use their voice device to search for a restaurant by particular attributes such as type of food or hours of operation.
- In addition, 61% of consumers indicated that they were interested in using voice search to get directions to a restaurant. The survey also found that 55% of respondents would use voice to initiate a phone call to a restaurant, and 47% would use voice to gather ratings or reviews about a restaurant.
- Yext found that 45% of respondents would make a reservation with voice search if the service were offered. Yext polled 1,000 U.S. adults who have asked a restaurant-related question using voice-enabled services like Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant.
A key takeaway from the report is that restaurants should consider developing a marketing strategy for voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant as the technology begins to change the way people interact with restaurants, as app developers expand the range of voice-enabled services and as technology firms make the platforms more conversational with natural language processing. Just as smartphones started a revolution in restaurant discovery, ordering and payment, voice platforms are in the early stages of changing how consumers interact with a wide range of dining establishments, Yext's study suggests. More than one-third (39%) of survey respondents would prefer to use voice devices over smartphones when searching for restaurant information.
Some of largest restaurant chains have already started to embrace voice technology. Denny's, the diner chain with more than 1,600 U.S. locations, in March added food ordering with Amazon Alexa in its latest digital push, per Bloomberg. The same month, Dunkin' Donuts started letting its rewards members use Google Assistant to order through a mobile phone. Starbucks in January began offering voice ordering on Alexa and iPhones, and in April added Samsung's Bixby in Korea. Last year, TGI Friday's became the first restaurant with an Alexa skill that integrates Amazon Pay.
One challenge for marketers will be in deciding where to place their bets as smart speakers surge in popularity and more offerings enter the market. Device makers like Amazon, Google, Apple and Alibaba tripled shipments to 12 million in Q2 2018 from a year earlier, according to researcher Strategy Analytics. Amazon, the early front runner in the space, saw its global share of smart speaker shipments fell to 41% in Q2 2018 from 76% a year earlier, while Google boosted its share to 28% from 16% during the same periods.