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Google begins food order from its search engines

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Google has made it possible to now order food directly from its search engines; Google Search, Google Maps, or Google Assistant.

The functionality works using partnerships with existing delivery companies like DoorDash, Postmates, and ChowNow, and means you can order from any of them without having to downloading an additional app, or even visiting their website.

In Google Search and Google Maps, the functionality works via a new “Order Online” button that will appear when you search for a supported restaurant.

From here, you can pick between pickup and delivery, and select which service you want to order your food through. If the restaurant supports it, your ordering selections are all made entirely through Google’s interface and Google Pay.

The Google Assistant implementation on iOS and Android phones works in a similar way. You start the process by asking Google to order food from a specific restaurant, before selecting a delivery service and making your food selections through Google’s interface.

Alternatively you can ask Google’s voice assistant to repeat a previous order if you don’t want to deal with the indecision of choosing what to order.

There’s no mention of whether this feature is available through Google Assistant smart speakers or, more usefully, Google smart displays.

The new functionality supports five different delivery services at launch — DoorDash, Postmates, Delivery.com, Slice, and ChowNow — and Google says it will add support for Zuppler and others in the future.

Major delivery services like Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Grubhub, and Just Eat are currently missing from Google’s roster.

This is just the latest in a string of restaurant-related features that Google has recently added to its apps and services. The most well known of these is Google Duplex, a (mostly) automated voice assistant that’s able to call up restaurants on your behalf and make reservations.

It’s ambitious, but so far it’s been met with limited success. At this year’s Google I/O, the company also demoed a new piece of Google Lens functionality that allows you to point your camera at a restaurant’s menu and see reviews from Google Maps.

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