As restaurants look to get more bodies in seats, they could benefit from integrating their reservation platforms with the voice assistants that consumers use day to day, PYMNTS Intelligence suggests.
For PYMNTS’ recent study “Preparing for a Voice Commerce Future Report: Gen AI Raises the Bar on Consumer Expectations for Smart Voice Assistants,” we surveyed more than 2,900 U.S. consumers about how they use voice technology, among other related matters. The results revealed that 11% use the technology to make reservations at restaurants.
This finding could be useful for restaurants, considering that, with ongoing labor and margin challenges, many eateries are looking to automate wherever possible. By going after these voice-engaged consumers, restaurants can remove work from the reservation-taking process on their end.
In fact, PYMNTS Intelligence from last year’s “Restaurant Readiness Index,” created in collaboration with Paytronix, which drew from a survey of more than 500 managers of quick-service restaurants (QSRs) and full-service restaurants (FSRs) across the country, found that only 14% of restaurants have their reservations/bookings operations mostly or fully automated.
Indeed, digital reservations are increasingly part of restaurant operations.
On a call with analysts in July, American Express CEO Steve Squeri noted that the company’s Resy platform is seeing more reservations than ever.
“Q2 is a record quarter for restaurant reservations through our Resy platform,” he said.
Restaurants are not the only one looking to automate the process. OpenTable parent company Booking Holdings spoke to its own efforts in the space on its last earnings call.
“We mentioned last quarter that OpenTable and Kayak were experimenting with AI [artificial intelligence] plug-ins. And we will continue to examine all areas of our company to ensure we are taking advantage of AI-created efficiencies,” Booking Holdings President and CEO Glenn Fogel said. “We are confident in our company’s ability to benefit from AI development and improve our products for our customers given our many years’ experience in AI, our travel-related data and connections to our supply partners and our human and financial capital.”