Sber Brings Salute Voice Assistant to Restaurants and Hotels
Russian tech and finance giant Sber has debuted a new restaurant and hospitality-focused platform for its Salute voice assistant. Salute will take customer orders, advertise specials, and carry out concierge duties as a start in what’s known in Russia and many European countries as HoReCa, or the foodservice and hospitality industries.
Salute has arrived in two of Moscow’s Coffeemania cafes via the company’s SberPortal touchscreen smart displays. When customers arrive, they can place orders by touching the screen or by talking to the voice assistant, skipping the line for a waiter or barista. The restaurant version of the AI has “Salute, I am hungry” as a unique wake word phrase that will pull up the menu and share special offers as customers say what they want to buy. After payment, the smart display shows a QR code for customers to use to track their orders. The next step for Sber will be setting up SberPortals at restaurant tables where Salute can take orders, accept payment and tips, split the bill, and even ask for suggestions on what to eat.
“Coffeemania is a trendsetter in the hospitality industry and is one of the first to test new solutions and technology to improve both customer experience and in-house processes,” Coffeemania’s digital and e-commerce director Renat Salikhov said. “Leveraging such devices, we expect to improve our understanding of guests’ preferences and offer them additional modern opportunities, anticipating new needs and behavioral patterns.”
The restaurant Salute platform arrives at the same time as a new premium version for hotels. The current standard version uses SberBox set-top boxes to access hotel services by interacting with the TV. The new level uses the SberPortal for voice or touch interactions and hands-free access without a TV remote. The Cosmos Collection Altay Resort has installed the smart displays into its public areas and suites as the pilot test for the platform. Guests can pull up the hotel’s room service menu, order food or toiletries, find and book tours offered by the hotel, and access music, movies, or games. The hotel workers can program the displays to show special offers and news to customers, keeping them updated as new offers are set up.
The updated hospitality services fit with Sber’s rapid expansion in voice commerce, including biometric payments, home goods additions, and other features added since releasing the SberPortal smart display and the SberBox TV set-top streaming device simultaneously with Salute last year. Voice hospitality has been on the rise as well, as evidenced by Volara’s acquisition by Uniguest and Disney’s partnership with Amazon to bring Alexa to Disneyland and Disney World.
“The very idea of business surfaces is that any business can buy a device from SberDevices, and it will start helping the company with its customers. Our B2B2C solutions are geared toward enhancing the customer experience through the use of advanced AI technology,” SberDevices CEO Konstantin Kruglov said in a statement. “We are confident that with our products, HoReCa partners will be able to create new service standards that will be even higher than today.”