Voice-activated ordering is the latest way to order food at Panera Bread. The national restaurant chain will offer the ability to order via voice for delivery and Rapid Pick-Up with the Google Assistant on their mobile devices.
“Voice-activated ordering powered by artificial intelligence is the future," said Blaine Hurst, Panera’s president. "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% faster than a traditional app order.”
The start, MyPanera loyalty members in St. Louis and Silicon Valley participating bakery-cafes can already place and pay for their orders using Google Assistant, a virtual personal assistant developed by Google. Full rollout and implementation nationwide for all guests is anticipated by the end of the year.
It works like this: Google Assistant users say, “Ok Google, ask Panera for delivery” or “Ok Google, talk to Panera.” The Panera app for the Google Assistant will show them the menu, suggest past menu items based off of history and walk the user through menu items. Users will pay from their saved wallet information with proper authentication.
“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,” said Ron Shaich, Panera’s Founder, Chairman and CEO.
Panera’s voice-activated ordering integrates with MyPanera, the restaurant's loyalty program. Voice-activated ordering will be available via the Google Assistant on eligible Android phones and iPhones.
Since the inception of its Panera 2.0 program in 2014, the company says now approximately 30% of total company wide sales are digital. Panera's end-to-end digital channels include Rapid Pick-Up, Fast Lane Kiosks, Catering and Delivery.
In addition to Panera’s Rapid Pick-Up service, Panera’s newest service, Panera Delivery, will be available for voice-activated ordering. Panera Delivery provides lunch and dinner to offices, hospitals, campuses and homes.