ST. LOUIS, Mo.—Customers of Panera Bread can now order for delivery or curbside pickup using Google platforms, including Google search, Google Maps and Google Assistant, reports Nation’s Restaurant News. The chain made the announcement this week and to encourage customers to try it out is offering 20% off customers’ orders when they place a minimum $20 order now through Sept. 14.
“Our guests are looking to us to provide easy, contactless ways to order their next meal from Panera,” said George Hanson, chief digital officer, Panera Bread. “As a tech-forward brand, we are committed to growing our digital presence and off-premise channels.”
Here’s how the ordering works: prospective Panera customers can type “Panera near me” on Google search or Google 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.
In October 2019, Google launched ordering capabilities through its suite of apps in a partnership with Olo, a mobile and online food ordering platform. Since then, customers of select Olo-branded restaurants have been able to place digital orders through Google search, Maps and Assistant.
“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,” said Anantica Singh, senior product manager, Google. “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 food.
NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.