- Panera Bread has added Amazon Alexa ordering capabilities for its MyPanera rewards members, the company said Wednesday.
- Customers can order pickup or delivery via voice or touch with Echo Show after adding a payment method and address, if receiving delivery, in their MyPanera accounts.
- The Alexa integration comes about a week after Panera began testing Amazon One palm scanning payment technology at two stores in St. Louis.
Panara is the first restaurant to use the updated Alexa Food Skills API, which offers conversational AI to make ordering more intuitive, Mark Yoshitake, general manager and director of Alexa Skills, said in a statement. Panera and Amazon worked together to ensure Alexa learned the cafe chain’s menu. Using this technology, customers can ask Alexa to order food, add items to their order, customize items and check out. It also honors Unlimited Sip Club same day redemption.
“While our guests love the Panera app, we know there are times where it’s just more convenient to be hands-free and order by voice,” said George Hanson, chief digital officer for Panera Bread. “We’re continuing to push the boundaries of what we can do to make our MyPanera members’ lives easier, and we’re just at the beginning of what is possible in the world of conversational commerce.”
Partnering with Amazon could create additional opportunities for Panera to reach new customers and grow its rewards program. Roughly 130 million Amazon Echos are projected to be shipped worldwide by 2025. As of 2020, 70% of smartspeaker users owned an Amazon Echo device, according to TechCrunch.
In addition to its Amazon integrations, Panera enhanced its digital experiences within the past year. In 2022, it tested drive-thru AI using OpenCity’s voice technology and opened up its first digital-only restaurant in Chicago last June. Earlier this year, the restaurant chain enhanced its Unlimited Sip Club subscription service by offering additional benefits, such as $0 delivery fees on digital orders and an annual membership.