By Joanna Fantozzi  |  August 25, 2020  |  Nation’s Restaurant News

Customers can now order from the fast-casual restaurant for pickup and delivery through Google search, Google Maps and Google Assistant

Panera Bread announced Tuesday the launch of a new technology capability: ordering through Google search, Maps, and Google Assistant. With the new option, customers can order for both contactless delivery and curbside pickup through Google’s platforms from participating Panera locations, adding more off-premise options and capabilities for their customer base that increasingly is relying on digital engagement instead of in-store dining.

With the announcement, Panera Bread is also offering a promotion for 20% off customers’ order when they place a $20+ order for a limited time through Sept. 14.

“Our guests are looking to us to provide easy, contactless ways to order their next meal from Panera,” George Hanson, chief digital officer at Panera, said in a statement. “As a tech-forward brand, we are committed to growing our digital presence and off-premise channels.”

Here’s how the ordering will work: prospective Panera customers can type “Panera near me” on Google search or Maps and will be prompted to order food from their nearest Panera location. Customers can also say “Hey Google, find Panera near me” on an Android phone or Google Assistant-enabled iOS phone, and a prompt to order will pop up on the screen.

Google launched ordering capabilities through its suite of apps and features in October 2019 with its partnership with Olo. Since then, customers of select Olo-branded restaurants have been able to place digital orders through Google search, Maps, and Assistant. The launch started with a partnership with Checker’s and Portillo’s and allows for digital ordering without the third-party fees.

“As consumer behavior continues to shift towards digital ordering, our team is focused on building ways to make online ordering quick and accessible for restaurants,” Anantica Singh, senior product manager at Google, said in a statement.  “Panera is an industry-leading restaurant brand and we’re excited that we’re unlocking a new way for people to order their favorite Panera meals directly on Google.”

This is not the first major technology integration announcement Panera Bread has made during the pandemic. In May, the bakery-café chain launched curbside pickup with geofencing capabilities that can automatically alert employees when a customer has arrived to pick up their food.

View full article on nrn.com