Tuning Up: Voice-Enabled Technology

Photo: Shutterstock / whiteMocca.

Voice-enabled technology enters the restaurant industry.


ar and restaurant staff may soon be asking, “Alexa, can you tell me about the guests at Table 7?”

SevenRooms, an all-in-one reservation, seating, and guest management platform, announced an investment from Amazon’s Alexa Fund to introduce in-service, voice-enabled technology for the restaurant industry.

“From day one, SevenRooms’ focus has been on building tools for restaurant and bar operators that help them develop deeper guest relationships, boosting revenue and enabling personalized service and marketing,” says SevenRooms. “SevenRooms and Amazon share a proven dedication to customer service and a mission to bring customers new levels of ease and convenience. The investment will combine Amazon’s technology with SevenRooms’ hospitality expertise, bringing voice-enabled hospitality technology to market.”

The funding marks the first investment the Alexa Fund has made in a restaurant technology company, and it will pave the way for SevenRooms to integrate Amazon Alexa into its restaurant operations and guest relationship management experience platform.

“We’re proud to be Amazon’s first investment in the restaurant technology space, furthering our mission of enabling high-touch hospitality with powerful operator-first tools,” says SevenRooms. “Not only does our obsession with the customer align nicely with Amazon’s mission, but their voice-powered technology will allow us to create a whole new set of tools to improve guest experience across our restaurant and bar partners. We are excited by the opportunity to add new functionality to our robust platform, and up-level the entire hospitality experience.”

SevenRooms is a front-of-house technology company entirely focused on empowering operators to establish and maintain a meaningful, direct relationship with their guests to make exceptional experiences possible.

Founded in 2011 in New York, the reservation, seating, and guest management solution boosts revenue and enables personalized service   and marketing.

SevenRooms has restaurant, hotel, and nightlife clients in more than 100 cities worldwide, including: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Standard Hotels, LDV Hospitality, Live Nation, TAO Group, Mercer Street Hospitality, Corbin and King, and The h.wood Group.

Building on its proven track record of delivering best-in-class tools for restaurant operators and a deep understanding of front-of-house operations, the company will leverage the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) to build an Alexa skill that enables restaurant operators to use a wide array of voice commands for everyday in-service use, making relevant guest information accessible within just seconds.

The new voice-powered technology will allow SevenRooms users to use voice commands to access a wide variety of information on their guests. The new feature will let operators ask a multitude of questions like, “Do any guests in the dining room have allergies?” or, “Do we have any birthday celebrations tonight?”

By removing the physical interface, staff will be able to access all of this vital information more quickly, enabling them to provide a more personalized experience for their guests in an instant, without having to lift a finger.

Understanding guest data and having immediate access to the correct information through Alexa can help a restaurant make every guest feel like a regular more easily—converting a one-time diner into a frequent guest.

“Voice-powered technology is already impacting every industry and continues to play a central role in the daily lives of consumers and the businesses they interact with,” said Joel Montaniel, Founder and CEO of SevenRooms. “At SevenRooms, we are always looking at ways our technology can streamline operations while personalizing and humanizing the guest experience. Hospitality operators have long relied on an interface or screen to access information, taking attention away from their guests and operations. Voice eliminates this need, enabling them to shift their attention back to what matters most: the guest.

“We are excited to leverage this investment from Amazon to bring Alexa to SevenRooms, furthering our mission of enabling high-touch hospitality by creating powerful tools that are invisible to guests, but invaluable to the operator.”

Amazon chose to invest in SevenRooms after discovering the company had like-minded goals and was on an upward growth trajectory.

“Much like Amazon itself, SevenRooms is a company that understands the importance of an incredible customer experience. By deploying their technology, restaurant operators can make smarter decisions on marketing, guest relationship management, staffing, and more, and ultimately present dining guests with a more enjoyable experience,” said Paul Bernard, Director of the Alexa Fund at Amazon. “We have been impressed by the company’s growth over the past year, and we are eager to see more restaurants begin to adopt SevenRooms and utilize Alexa as a way to interact with its service.”

Following an eight-million-dollar Series A funding round led by Comcast Ventures in December 2017, SevenRooms has been able to accelerate its strategic growth plans. These plans include the addition of new restaurant, nightlife, and enterprise customers from around the globe over the past nine months.

In addition, the company has also nearly doubled its total number of employees.

While there is no definitive release timeframe yet for these voice-enabled tools, operators should expect to see them rolled out soon.

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