- Grubhub this week announced a new assisted ordering feature that will be available in restaurants on August 23. This feature replaces phone orders by giving customers three-choice commands: place an order, ask questions about an already placed order, or ask other questions.
- According to a company blog post, customers’ calls will either be directed to a member of a Grubhub customer service representative or his maintenance team, who will take orders on behalf of a restaurant. Customers with further questions will be directed directly to the restaurant and will not be charged for this call. Grubhub states that there are no additional costs for customers using assisted ordering.
- This feature could potentially be a solution to Grubhub’s ongoing issues with phone orders that have led to restaurant complaints, lawsuits, and most recently laws in New York City that prohibit third-party delivery companies from charging restaurants for phone orders. on a sale.
Grubhub has previously attempted to make changes to its phone policy to fix its problems, including creating a task force and launching a three-phase plan that includes extending the look-back period for restaurants to review all phone orders. .
Assisted ordering can make the experience easier for customers and restaurants alike, while eliminating the problem altogether. It can also help restaurants facing labor pressures by diverting non-German calls away from their staff. While restaurants cannot opt out of this feature, the company states several times on its blog that a restaurant will not be charged for customer calls directed through assisted ordering.
The company also states that Grubhub’s customer service representatives must “make it clear that they are from Grubhub” and not from the restaurant, and that meals made by mistake due to a customer service representative will be refunded to their restaurant.
According to a Grubhub spokesperson, “We are always trying to make the ordering experience easier for restaurants and diners. That’s why we’re introducing this new, assisted way for diners to order from Grubhub’s restaurant partners to replace phone orders, while allowing diners to reach out directly to restaurants to ask questions or confirm information.”
The feature comes days after Grubhub announced a partnership with Olo to integrate restaurants’ digital orders directly into their point-of-sale systems. This should make ordering even easier for restaurants as more customers place their orders through digital channels. However, shifting consumers’ preferences to third parties may not be enough. In July, only 16% of consumers said ordering directly from a third-party provider was their preferred method, compared to 20% who said they preferred calling a restaurant directly, and 21% who ordered online directly from a restaurant.