Google is giving restaurant owners a heads up that it will be testing Assistant’s automated phone reservation feature next month.
Called “Google Duplex,” this technology allows Google Assistant to automatically place calls to restaurants and make reservations by interacting with a human being.
Google Duplex was previewed earlier this year at the Google I/O conference.
In addition to the benefits it provides to users, Google Duplex is also designed to help businesses reach a broader set of consumers.
Testing in Select Markets Next Month
Public testing of Google Duplex will be expanded next month in New York, Atlanta, Phoenix, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
During the testing period, the feature will only be available to Google Pixel users.
As far as compatibility with restaurants is concerned, Google says there is no learning curve and nothing that needs to be set up.
“You can keep operating your restaurant as you always have while also taking advantage of booking through the Google Assistant. And if you’re currently working with one of our online booking partners, you won’t receive calls from the Assistant for reservations.”
Google goes on to say that businesses will be given full transparency and control throughout the booking process.
That means it will always be made obvious when Google Assistant is the entity making the phone call.
Businesses can opt-out of receiving calls from Google Assistant simply by saying so when they’re on the receiving end of a call.
It’s also possible to opt-out from the settings panel in Google My Business.
The rollout of this feature will be slow and measured so Google can get the experience right for both people and businesses.