Restaurant Information and Reservations are Popular with Voice Search Users
A survey of 1,000 voice search users by Yext revealed that 61% are interested in being able to use voice to get restaurant directions and 55% would use voice to initiate a phone call. In addition, 45% said they would make a restaurant reservation directly from voice search. These are the types of responses that suggest voice search and dining are likely to find immediate synergy as more restaurants voice-enable their content.
Another interesting finding was that most voice search users prefer to use smartphones over smart speakers for voice search related to restaurant information and ordering food. The data provided by Yext shows who prefers smart speakers for these two tasks which means the reverse shows 61% prefer to conduct information searches and 65% prefer food ordering using their smartphones. This may be driven by the fact that smart speakers do not offer visual information or confirmation as part of the voice search and ordering process. In addition, these tasks are often executed while on the go where smartphones are easily accessible and smart speakers typically are not.
The good news for restaurants is that supporting a voice assistant such as Google Assistant will get you access on both smart speaker and smartphone surfaces. The bad news is that proprietors will also have to support Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri to adequately support voice search volume across the most popular devices.
Voice Search Turns into Action
Even more important to restaurants is what happens after a voice search. One in four consumers said they visit the restaurant after it surfaces in a voice search and nearly one-third go online to consult the website.
These are particularly important metrics because voice search is changing quickly and voice assistants are typiclly only returning a single option. If you ask for a Chinese restaurant near a specific location with at least 4-star average reviews, you are going to get one option or two at most. The question for restaurants is whether they will even have a chance to fulfill voice search requests. Lee Zucker, Head of Industry, Food Services at Yext commented:
“The rise of smart devices, voice search, and AI is quickly changing the game for restaurants everywhere. In this new environment, more customers than ever are asking AI-powered services like Google Assistant, Siri or Alexa detailed questions about restaurant brands, locations and menu items. Restaurant brands must take control of their digital knowledge everywhere to reach consumers with the right information, at the right moment, and ultimately gain an advantage over their competitors.”
You can find the blog post discussing the complete survey findings here.