Google Orders Up Food Ordering, Delivery Into Search, Maps, Assistant

Pizza, hamburgers, curry or tandoori chicken are some of the food items that consumers might have an option to order from restaurants that are participating in a new service from Google.

A new online order button will allow consumers to purchase food directly from Google Search and Google Maps, but the feature will also offer a similar experience through Google Assistant.

Owning the customer transaction is one reason Google now offers the service. The data is another. Supporting companies and their partners no doubt adds to the lure. Last week it was made clear that every merchant receipt sent to a Gmail consumer's account from a merchant is another piece of data that Google gains. 

While Google has yet to release a list of the restaurants participating in the offering, as of today all ChowNow restaurant partners can join the service. 

The new service enables consumers to order food and have it delivered by partners such as DoorDash, Postmates, and ChowNow. While orders are made through Google’s interface, payments are made through Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay -- whichever transaction the service the restaurant supports.

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Using Google Assistant on a mobile phone requires the user to download and open the app by simply saying, “Hey Google, order food from” and naming the restaurant. Assistant also will allow consumers to reorder meals and have them delivered by saying “Hey Google, reorder food” from the specific restaurant. The Assistant pulls up the information and places the past order.

Google will display the menus in the apps, along with a minimum service and delivery fee.

The ability to order food from search, maps and the assistant builds on Google’s desire to become the intermediary and service provider. This began with searching and booking airline flights, then quickly expanded to integrating with transportation services such as Uber and Lyft, and now food ordering and delivery.  

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