Q&A Voice ordering and the future of foodservice: Q&A with Michael Atkinson of Orderscape
The process of ordering takeout & delivery isn’t something that many consumers would necessarily dissect as part of their dining experience. In fact, most are so used to just picking up the phone or opening a computer to place an order that they wouldn’t even think there could be a better, more efficient way to get food. After all, calling in ahead of time and placing an order online have been the two most commons methods of ordering out for years. However, with the advent of smartphones and digital assistants in our constantly-connected social environment, a new method of ordering food is on the horizon. In an interview with Michael Atkinson, the founder & CEO of Orderscape, we learned more about the Orderscape platform, which essentially connects restaurants and their menus with consumers via smartphone voice assistants like Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Google, their home digital assistant counterparts and through search engines. Orderscape makes voice search more intuitive, and facilitates voice food ordering. We discussed how this new technology will change the food landscape in the coming years. RESTAURANT C-SUITE | Restaurant news that’s fresh, informed, inspired (by you) 16
Restaurant C-Suite: Where are we going with voice ordering in three to five years from now? Michael Atkinson: Voice ordering is already here today, but only with a few menus being voice ready. Restaurants need to accept the reality that voice is a new sales and customer engagement channel with multiple gateways (voice input) that millions of consumers already utilize. My crystal ball is not three to five years from now but rather 18-24 months from now. That’s the inflection point where we will see rapid user adoption of voice search, and as a result, voice ordering (conversational commerce), from both stable devices like Alexa and Google Home, and on mobile devices—smartphones—with apps that are already installed on these devices. There are four elements required to facilitate a food order in voice channel: (1) Actionable, voiceenabled menus, (2) Food-Centric taxonomy, (3) Pipes, and (4) Gateways.