How to Use Google Duplex to Make Restaurant Reservations

Google Assistant makes the call for you

Restaurant chef standing behind a manager as they take a phone reservation.
Westend61/Getty Images.

From fetching local transit times to playing your favorite song, Google Assistant is capable of a whole slew of tasks. But did you know you can also ask Google Assistant to book a restaurant on your behalf? Here’s how it all works.

This instructions in this article relate to Google Assistant for iOS and Android.

How Google Assistant Works with Google Duplex

Google Duplex is an AI-powered voice dialer that works via Google Assistant. There are several ways to use Google Duplex, but in the simplest of terms, you can ask Google Assistant to make a reservation for you, and it will take care of the rest. Probably the most interesting aspect of all this is how Google Duplex makes those plans. 

Google Duplex pulls the information from Google Assistant and calls the business for you. Then, using advanced AI and voice emulation, Google Duplex holds a conversation with employees to place your booking.

Unlike traditional voice dialing software, Google Duplex is designed to sounds as normal as possible, featuring a human-like cadence and intonation. The net effect is it promises a more natural conversation for the person on the other end of the line. And once your booking is complete, Google Assistant will notify you with the details.

Google Duplex works via Google Assistant on iOS and numerous Android devices. It's available in most US markets, but not all. You can check full smartphone and market availability via Google’s Duplex support page.

How to Make a Restaurant Reservation Using Google Duplex

If your device supports Google Duplex and it's available in your area, it’s very straightforward to have Google Assistant book you a table. Here’s how to do it.

Not all businesses work with Google Duplex. Many locations don't take bookings, while others may have opted out of the Google Duplex service. Google Assistant will advise you if it's unable to book a table or retrieve a business' details.

  1. Open Google Assistant.

  2. Initiate Google Assistant by typing on the device keyboard, or just say either "Hey Google," or "OK Google."

  3. Ask Google Assistant to book you a table at the restaurant of your choice.

    If you want some restaurant recommendations first, Google Assistant can do that for you. Simply trigger Google Assistant and ask for a list of nearby restaurants. You'll then be able to sort through the results to make your decision.

  4. If the restaurant accepts bookings, Google Assistant will ask you what time you want to visit, and for how many.

  5. Tell Google your preferred time and how many people will be going.

    Book a table with Google Assistant screens
  6. Google Assistant will then ask if an alternative time also works, just in case the restaurant doesn’t have availability. Simply respond with "yes" or "no," or choose a timeframe from your device screen.

  7. Google Assistant will then display your booking details to check everything is correct. If it is, simply say "OK" or tap Confirm. If there are errors, say or tap Cancel.

    Two more Google Assistant booking a table screens
  8. Once the details are confirmed, Google Assistant will hand everything off to Google Duplex so it can book your table.

    You'll receive a notification about your reservation shortly after (usually within 15 minutes).

  9. Google Duplex will dial the restaurant and announce itself as Google Duplex to the call recipient. It will then explain it's calling to book a table for a client.

  10. Google Duplex will then discuss the details of the booking with the restaurant worker, including your preferred time and the number of people attending. If the restaurant is unable to seat you at that time, Google Duplex will ask about an alternative slot, based on the timeframe you provided.

  11. Once the Google Duplex call is complete, Google Assistant will notify you.

    If your booking was successful, you'll see the time and details on an information card. If Google Duplex was unable to book your table, Google Assistant will let you know, and offer some alternatives.

    If successful, Google Assistant can also add these details to a calendar if you have one connected to your Google account.

  12. That's it! All you have to do is arrive at the restaurant at the time of your reservation and give them your name.