Panera Bread announced it is one of the first national restaurant 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 St. Louis and Silicon Valley participating bakery-cafes can now place and pay for their orders using the 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.
Google Assistant users can 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. Panera’s voice-activated ordering integrates with MyPanera®, the restaurant industry’s largest loyalty program with more than 27 million members. Voice-activated ordering will be available via the Google Assistant on eligible Android phones and iPhones.
“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.
Since the inception of its Panera 2.0 program in 2014, the company has emerged as an industry-leading restaurant e-tailer. Approximately 30 percent of total company wide sales are digital. Panera’s end-to-end digital channels, including Rapid Pick-Up, Fast Lane Kiosks, Catering and Delivery, enable a better guest experience for people to eat the way they want, where they want and when they want.
Blaine Hurst, Panera’s president, said, “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% faster than a traditional app order.”
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, typically within an eight-minute drive of a Panera bakery-cafe.