Hey Alexa – bring my restaurant more business…

Imagine a world where an ad for your restaurant is playing over Spotify at dinnertime and your customer can then immediately place an order or book a table.

That’s true one-to-one interaction – without a keyboard or touchscreen in sight.

It is very apt to be writing this post in a week when Google announced their new Google Home Hub and Facebook launched their new Portal smart speaker.

The smart speaker market has grown at a blistering pace. By April this year they had penetrated 20% of US households with wi-fi, up from just 8% in June 2017 – the hardware is well on its way to being mainstream.

With growing demand coupled with still untapped huge growth potential it’s easy to see why Google and Facebook would invest in the technology.

ComScore predicts that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches.

How could this help you?

Previously, smart speakers such as Alexa were used for in-home dining – a convenient way to search for recipes or order ingredients while listening to Spotify or doing housework.

But now, it looks as though voice searches will also be a big player in the eating out market.

Alexa and Google now integrate with Open Table, so if you were thinking of signing up to that platform now may be a good time to join.

As the search is voice activated it is far more efficient for your guests than having to use the App or website – just say the date and time and it’s all done for them.

If you think that’s sounds simple, then the integration with Just Eat is even more intuitive – your customers can simply ask to reorder their last meal.

Another aspect of voice search you can capitalise on is that of restaurant recommendations.

Before they make a decision, customers can ask their smart speaker for restaurant reviews.

If the predictions are correct about voice search, then it’s crucial that you have great online reviews. You should consider social media reputation software if you are looking to maximise the benefits of TripAdvisor reviews.

What you need to make the most of voice searches

Smart speakers enable restaurateurs to plug into the whole digital journey for customers while taking advantage of the powers of digital transformation.

At the centre of any digital environment you need a robust restaurant management solution to ensure your operation is running like a well-oiled machine.

Key to the digital customer journey is the ability to:

  • > Send orders straight from the website to a kitchen automation system. Kitchen automation will speed service and reduce waste
  • > Integrate OpenTable payment to the restaurant’s mobile payment gateway – creating a convenient and seamless digital experience for your guests
  • > Respond rapidly to any negative social media reviews so that you can ensure that the only news that they get to hear is good news
  • > Create compelling loyalty offers – you have their email address and they are digitally engaged so what better audience do you have to help you increase revenue?
  • > Access real-time business intelligence to see which channels are producing the most sales and then scale the successful platforms.

A world of potential

We feel voice technology has a great deal of potential when integrated into existing delivery and booking technology.

And the machine learning capabilities of these platforms means that Google, Amazon and Facebook can leverage huge amounts of data about your customers which you can use for targeted paid advertising.

It’s a perfect situation, using paid ads to generate new business coupled with the convenience of voice for them to place their order or book a table.

A win-win for everyone – convenience for them and an instant return on your advertising for you.

Luis De Souza
Luis De Souza Chief Executive Officer Posted on: October 26, 2018
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