“Alexa, order dinner.”
That’s not exactly how Amazon’s newest Alexa skill works, but that’s the gist. The online retail giant Thursday announced a new skill that lets owners of Alexa-powered devices, who are also Prime members, reorder meals they’ve ordered before through the Amazon Restaurants service.
The service is now available in more than 20 cities across the U.S., including Seattle, and the result is a meal that arrives on your doorstep within an hour, with no delivery cost, ordered by voice command.
“Customers now have a hands-free, hassle-free way to reorder any meal from Amazon Restaurants using their voice to get dinner on the table,” Gus Lopez, general manager of Amazon Restaurants, said in a statement. “We are excited to leverage the innovative Alexa technology and give Prime members another easy way for Amazon Restaurants to take care of dinnertime with no menu markups and free delivery in one hour or less.”
Orders don’t have to be too specific either. Prime members can say a restaurant name or cuisine type, for example: “Alexa, order sushi from Amazon Restaurants.” The service then looks at the customer’s order history fitting the correct description and lists meal options available for reorder.
Amazon has been working to perfect food delivery for awhile now. Amazon launched its one-hour restaurant delivery service in Seattle in 2015, just a couple weeks after its Prime Now rapid delivery service. Then in July of this year, Amazon began testing Daily Dish, a workplace lunch delivery service that is an outgrowth of Amazon Restaurants.
Amazon’s Alexa continues to grow smarter. The digital assistant now boasts more than 7,000 skills. In 2015, Amazon released the Alexa Skills Kit, which encourages third-party developers to build skills for Alexa. Developers who want to add to Alexa’s abilities can write code that works with Alexa in the cloud, letting the smart assistant do the heavy lifting of understanding and deciphering spoken commands.