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AI chatbots will be taking food orders over the phone

DoorDash said it polled restaurants and found that up to 50% of calls can go unanswered.
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Posted at 1:44 PM, Aug 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-31 13:44:35-04

The next time you call your favorite restaurant to place an order, you may end up speaking with a chatbot powered by artificial intelligence. 

DoorDash is partnering with restaurants to implement the service, which it says will allow staff to focus on customers inside the restaurant.

The company said it developed the technology after getting feedback from restaurants, which stated that up to 50% of calls can go unanswered, forcing them to lose out on revenue. The chatbot is apparently responsive to customers' orders, can curate requests and attempt to upsell. 

“Customers expect more from restaurateurs, and in return, restaurateurs expect even more technology-forward solutions from us – including support for phone channels to meet customers where they're ordering,” said Rajat Shroff, head of product and design at DoorDash. 

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A DoorDash app logo.

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The company said it isn't just meeting the needs of restaurants with the technology, it contends that customers will also benefit. While there's no shortage of food delivery apps on the market, including DoorDash, the company found that 1 in 5 customers still prefer calling a restaurant to place an order. 

The survey also found that more than a third of people said they are either placing delivery or carry-out orders from restaurants more than they did a year ago. 

The most ordered foods on DoorDash in 2022 were french fries, followed by burgers and tacos. 

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