UPDATED 13:49 EST / AUGUST 28 2023


DoorDash debuts AI-powered voice ordering service

DoorDash Inc. today debuted an artificial intelligence tool that promises to help restaurants process customer calls more efficiently.

NYSE-listed DoorDash operates one of the world’s most popular food delivery platforms. Last quarter, the company processed 532 million orders worth a combined $16.5 billion. Its revenue reached $2.1 billion after climbing 33% year-over-year.

According to internal research cited by DoorDash today, up to 50% of customer calls to restaurants go unanswered. Because some of those missed calls might have led to takeout orders, the phenomenon can negatively impact restaurant operators’ revenue. DoorDash says its new AI tool helps reduce revenue loss.

In a situation where all of a restaurant’s customer service representatives are busy, DoorDash’s AI can take customer calls that might otherwise go answered. The company says its tool processes takeout orders without any wait times. To further expedite the buying process, it includes a feature that allows returning customers to quickly reorder items they’ve purchased in the past.

DoorDash says its AI supports multiple languages. If the software receives an order that it struggles to process, a support representative can jump in to help the customer complete the purchase.

The company offers the option to use its AI tool with a service called DoorDash Drive. The latter offering allows restaurants to integrate the food delivery giant’s platform with their websites and apps. When a customer places an order with a restaurant that uses DoorDash Drive, the package is delivered by a DoorDash courier.

DoorDash says its AI voice ordering tool will initially be available to “select” restaurant operators. It added that the software is delivered as a white-label solution, which means companies can customize it with their branding.

“Supporting operators by capturing customer demand through investments in our voice product is one way we’re delivering more and enabling our partners to grow their business,” said Rajat Shroff, head of product and design at DoorDash.

DoorDash’s new voice ordering tool could be followed by additional machine learning features down the road. In an April blog post, the company disclosed that it “hopes to leverage generative AI and revolutionize the delivery experience.” The post went on to list several specific areas where DoorDash could potentially apply the technology. 

Using an AI-powered voice assistant to process customer orders is one of the applications that the blog post identified. Additionally, DoorDash raised the possibility of using generative AI to create menus that display the most popular items at the top. Delivering customized discounts is another potential use case that the company’s blog post highlighted. 

Photo: DoorDash

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