The rise of digital waiters: Why voice-based ordering is next big trend
The rise of digital waiters: Why voice-based ordering is next big trend

In a world where physical restaurants was, by and large, shut down for months, consumer surveys have since found that many Indian consumers have gone digital, and plan to stay that way even after the pandemic eases. While many consumers believe that buying things online is faster and more convenient, they also find it safer than going to a physical store and risking COVID-19 exposure.

Restaurants like Domino’s, KFC, Pizza Hut and Wingstop are acknowledging the role that voice technology will play in the coming years and are working to make it more seamless for customers. Brands have enabled their customers to use in-app voice-activated ordering, while others have integrated with major virtual assistants — such as Cortana, Alexa or Google Assistant — to accomplish that task.


Also Read: Digital Dining: How QSRs are betting big on voice-based ordering


Tech-play ahead for Self-pickup or Home delivery


The voice based technologies are designed to cater to the end-to-end food ordering needs of customers, be it home delivery or self-pickup. Soultions like Tone Tag enable customers to pick their favourite item from their choice of restaurant, make payment online, and place an order. This seems like a regular online ordering procedure but there is a catch. The customer can do all this by simply talking to their device. The technology integrated into the device identifies the customer and the voice commands and subsequently initiates the ordering procedure. The device will place the order and even make the required payment. Simply put, a person can arrange a home delivery while driving back home and without taking his hand off the steering wheel. Similarly, a user can arrange a self-pickup at any restaurant using the same voice-based ordering system. A user has to simply speak out his order and the technology embedded into his device will identify and execute the command and place the order. The user can make the payment while placing the order using his/her voice. Upon arrival at the restaurant, the user finds his order packed and ready to go. 


Though, the technology has enabled a variety of use cases through voice-based commands but the food ordering and self-pickup have created the biggest impact since it enables contactless ordering and payments while ensuring safe transactions and accurate interpretations. 


The rise of digital waiters


The digital waiter is a voice and AI-driven solution that acts as a waiter and caters to the dining needs of a user. The digital waiter is a compact hardware powered by sound-based tech that is capable of intuitive interactions with the user. For example, when a person takes his/her seat at the table, the digital waiter automatically wakes up and greets the diner. It displays the menu on the diner’s mobile phone and subsequently accepts the order through voice-based commands. The Digital waiter then relays the order to the kitchen and keeps the diner company through smart interactions such as informing about order readiness etc. Once the diner is done with his/her meal, the digital waiter displays the digital bill, which the diner can pay via the in-App feature or using a voice signature. The whole dining journey with the digital waiter is completely personal, contactless, and digital. Now, it might seem that the digital waiter is eating into the jobs at the restaurant through automation and digital integration but this is not the case. The waiter is still required to serve the food and manage the restaurant physically. The digital waiter only streamlines and digitizes a diner’s experience which in turn helps the staff manage the restaurant better and serve the diner without any hassle or long wait-time.


May Interest: Why more consumers are turning to food delivery amid dining restrictions


Helping a safe and secure delivery


There’s no denying that voice-based ordering is vastly safer and convenient because it offers multiple options for the users in terms of how they want the delivery and the method of payment they are comfortable with. Our tech allows the user to either opt for home delivery or schedule a pick-up from the store. The user can pay using the In-App feature or make payments using other modes (Digital wallets, cards, etc). Suppose the user wants to order groceries from a nearby store, he/she can add items in the cart by simply speaking into their mobile phone and subsequently make the payment the same way. Now, once the cart is ready, the user can decide if he/she wants the order delivered with no-contact delivery to their home or schedule a self-pickup later in the day. The choice of self pick-up works beautifully for people who are always in a hurry, they can simply pick their packed groceries on their way back home without having to even enter the supermarket.  

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