We’re only five days into 2017, but Amazon is on a tear with new updates and support for its digital assistant Alexa. The latest lets you order food through the retailer’s own takeaway service Amazon Restaurants, which itself launched all the way back in 2014. There are already a few existing Alexa skills which let you order food in this way (like the Just Eat app in the UK), but this new skill shows how Amazon can benefit from Alexa by tightly integrating its own services with the assistant.
Unfortunately, voice commands are terrible for ordering takeaway. Abysmal, even. No one wants to listen to a list of dishes and prices, and so Amazon, sensibly enough, only lets you reorder meals you’ve had in the past. You’ll need to be a Prime member to do so, and the service is only available in 20 cities in the US, including Atlanta, Brooklyn, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Manhattan, Miami, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle. (Full list here.)
Here’s Amazon’s explanation of how it works:
Prime members can ask Alexa to reorder from Amazon Restaurants by saying a restaurant name or cuisine type, for example, “Alexa, order sushi from Amazon Restaurants.” The service pulls a customer’s order history from a specified restaurant or cuisine type and lists meal options available for reorder. The selected meal is then sent for delivery to a customer’s default address.
It’s basic, but given the number and range of devices that Alexa is now available on (everything from speakers to fridges to phones to cars) the Skill will at least be pretty accessible.