Google is making it easier to make food orders by connecting delivery apps with Google Assistant, Google Maps, and search results. Users will be able to make orders from restaurants supported by apps like DoorDash, Postmates, Delivery.com, Slice, and ChowNow.
With Google Assistant on a smartphone, you can say “Hey Google, order food from ____” to place an order. You can also say “Hey Google, reorder food from ___” to see a list of your previous orders.
Starting today, an “Order Online” button will appear alongside on-screen results with Google Assistant on smartphones. Click the button and you’ll be able to read through the menu and place an order. Payments are made with Google Pay.
The food payments service will be available in thousands of cities across the United States, according to a company spokesperson. The service will likely be extended to Google Assistant smart displays like Nest Hub Max and Nest Hub, formerly named Home Hub, but a spokesperson said the company has nothing to share on that topic at this time.
Google Assistant can tell you a lot about local businesses, such as address and hours, either when you say the name of a specific business or simply ask things like “Where’s the nearest place I can buy flowers?”
Amazon’s Alexa integrated with Yext’s knowledge graph last summer to also provide local business listings. Alexa does have some voice apps for food deliveries, but it’s enhanced for orders and reorders from Whole Foods.
As part of its wider voice strategy, Google has taken a number of steps to reduce friction for purchases in recent weeks.
Next week, Google will start a trial to allow commuters in New York City to simply ask “When is the next 4 train arriving?” and to use their smartphones to pay for bus or train tickets. Google Maps began to do more to help commuters get to work last fall, a trend that could also help reduce climate change.
At the I/O conference earlier this month, Google said it’s testing mini apps for more call-to-action buttons to carry out processes with Google search and Google Assistant smartphones and smart displays.
Duplex for the Web was also introduced and will fill in forms to quicken purchases online starting with Hertz rental cars and movie tickets. The Duplex service for Google Assistant to make phone calls on your behalf to schedule reservations at restaurants started trials last summer and was first made available for public use in fall 2018. A New York Times report on Wednesday found that about 25% of Duplex calls start with a human, and that about 15% of those that began with an automated system had a human intervene at some point.
App Actions to get things done with deep links between Google Assistant and Android apps will be available this summer for apps in categories like food ordering, finance and banking, and health and fitness.