Voice Search Becoming Increasingly Important For Consumer/​Restaurant Interation

BY Rachel Cagle
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Yext, Inc., the leader in Digital Knowledge Management, released new survey data on how restaurant-​goers use voice search to find and engage with restaurants. The results reveal that voice search has become an important part of how consumers interact with restaurants, and that voice search is an increasingly important part of restaurant marketing.

According to AudienceSCAN, 51.8% of U.S. adults consider themselves to be Foodies. Roughly 45% of this audience owns an Android smartphone, 40.5% own iPhones and 14.8% own voice-​activated smart speakers.

The Yext-​commissioned 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.
    • 53% of respondents would like to use voice to search for restaurants based on menu information
    • 49% would use voice search to find information about a specific restaurant 
      • 44% would use a voice query to find restaurants based on cravings or cuisine type
    • Upon hearing about a restaurant in voice search, 31% of respondents indicated they would likely go online to conduct further research about the restaurant, whereas 24% would visit the restaurant, and 20% would ask the voice device for more information.
  • Consumers frequently search for restaurant details and attribute information: 
    • 80% of respondents reported already using their voice device to search for a restaurant by particular attributes
    • 38% of respondents use voice devices to search for cuisine by type or food items
    • 28% use voice search to find hours of operation
    • 14% used a voice query to determine specifics like WiFi availability.
  • Consumers want to use voice search to interact with restaurants: 
    • 39% of respondents would prefer to use voice devices over smartphones when searching for restaurant information
    • 35% prefer to use voice devices over smartphones to order food from restaurants
    • 61% of consumers indicated interest to use voice search to get directions to a restaurant
    • 55% would use voice to initiate a phone call to a restaurant
    • 47% would use voice to gather ratings or reviews about a restaurant
    • 45% of respondents would make a reservation via voice search.

In the last six months, 44.8% of Foodies have used a mobile device to get a map or directions to a store or retailer, according to AudienceSCAN. In that same amount of time, Foodies have also used mobile devices to view a store or retailer's website (35.3%), order food for takeout or delivery (31.8%) and search for nearby retailers (29.6%).

"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. "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% 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.

Search isn't the only way to reach Foodies on their phones. According to AudienceSCAN, last year, 50.7% of Foodies took action after seeing an ad on a social network. Also, 50.1% reacted to an email advertisement within the last 12 months. Ads on mobile smartphone apps or in text messages are also effective advertising methods as 42.7% of this audience took action after receiving such ads last year.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.