With more than 70 percent of to-go orders coming from new customers, TGI Fridays continues to ramp up its digital offerings. The brand announced that guests will now be able to place and complete orders via Amazon Alexa and Amazon Pay, making it the first restaurant chain to offer the ability to pay with Amazon while placing an order with Alexa. Participating Fridays are offering the service, with all locations expected to onboard the technology by 2018.
Read more: How TGI Fridays inspires true guest loyalty.
Essentially, the system works by allowing users to place an order or make a reservation using their voice. But what makes this integration unique, as many chains also offer ordering through voice-activated platforms, is the ability to check out with Amazon Pay. So customers can pay their bill with information already loaded in their Amazon account. Guests can place to-go orders and pay without even pulling out a credit card.
“As we continue to innovate, we’re focused on creating digital programs with industry leaders like Amazon that make the Fridays experience more convenient for guests to recreate at home,” Stephanie Perdue, chief marketing officer at TGI Fridays, said in a statement.
To order or make a reservation, users just need to say, “Alexa, open Fridays.” Once in the Fridays skill, the guests can say “Alexa, place an order,” or “Alexa, reserve a table.”
Alexa will even recommend three side options for each entrée based on food pairings decided by Fridays executive chefs.
Fridays also added some fun interactions into the mix. It suggests asking, “Alexa, do you like ribs?” and “Alexa, what day is it?” Probably safe to say we can guess what the second answer will be.
Fridays is rolling out the platform with exclusive online offers as well.
“From the launch of our Fridays mobile app, to our order-ahead feature on the Amazon app and our social media chatbots powered by Conversable, Fridays has committed to delivering a great guest experience both inside and outside of the restaurant,” Sherif Mityas, chief information officer at TGI Fridays, said in a statement. “Working with Amazon has allowed us to continue elevating our digital offerings, making enjoying Fridays even more expandable for our guests.”
Fridays has diverted plenty of attention to digital in recent months. The company currently has a chatbot on Facebook and Twitter messenger, an “order now” button on Facebook, and a re-order option on the Amazon app.
And Fridays has also trailblazed in its category with other deals. In September, Fridays revealed its plan to become the first major restaurant chain to deliver spirits. Tests were set to begin November in Texas. Diners who user the Fridays’ app will have a chance to select beer, wine, and other liquors from the brand’s menu. With third-party delivery service Lash, Fridays will begin the service in Houston and Dallas, and then expand to locations across the country in 2018 if all goes well.
Fridays introduced 30 percent bigger ribs in October after the menu item drove a 45 percent increase in carryout sales in pilot markets.