Search trends—the impact of voice search on restaurant industry

by | Aug 23, 2018 | Marketing, Public Relations

Voice search has become an important part of how consumers interact with restaurants—and it’s also an increasingly important part of restaurant marketing, according to new research from digital knowledge management firm Yext, which has released new survey data on how restaurant-goers use voice search to find and engage with restaurants.

The survey polled 1,000 adults in the U.S. who have asked a restaurant-related question using voice-enabled services like Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant, to source information or ask questions within the last year. The research revealed the following key findings among this group of respondents:

1 in 4 consumers who get a restaurant result in voice search visit that restaurant

Fifty-three percent of respondents would like to use voice to search for restaurants based on menu information. Other findings include:

  • 49 percent would use voice search to find information about a specific restaurant
  • 44 percent would use a voice query to find restaurants based on cravings or cuisine type
  • Upon hearing about a restaurant in voice search, 31 percent of respondents indicated they would likely go online to conduct further research about the restaurant, whereas 24 percent would visit the restaurant, and 20 percent would ask the voice device for more information.

Consumers frequently search for restaurant details and attribute information

Eighty percent of respondents reported already using their voice device to search for a restaurant by particular attributes:

  • 38 percent of respondents use voice devices to search for cuisine by type or food items
  • 28 percent use voice search to find hours of operation
  • 14 percent used a voice query to determine specifics like WiFi availability.

Consumers want to use voice search to interact with restaurants

  • 39 percent of respondents would prefer to use voice devices over smartphones when searching for restaurant information
  • 35 percent prefer to use voice devices over smartphones to order food from restaurants
  • 61 percent of consumers indicated interest to use voice search to get directions to a restaurant
  • 55 percent would use voice to initiate a phone call to a restaurant
  • 47 percent would use voice to gather ratings or reviews about a restaurant
  • 45 percent of respondents would make a reservation via voice search.

“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,” said Lee Zucker, head of industry, food services at Yext, in a news release. “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.”

Voice enabled digital assistant use is forecasted to grow by nearly 120 percent in the next year. With adoption climbing rapidly, voice search will continue to transform the way consumers find and engage with restaurants, and ultimately where they decide to dine.

Learn more about digital knowledge management in the food service industry.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter