Looking for restaurant menus? Google it.
When you are planning a meeting a restaurant it can be difficult to find a place that accommodates both budget and individual food preference. You can spend quite a bit of time searching individual restaurants, opening PDFs, and examining their offerings and prices, or you can just Google it.
Google has announced the introduction of menus to their search results, in the U.S. only, for now. You will be able to view full menus, including prices, on the first page of your search results; eliminating the need to leave the page. Each part of the menu will be opened in a separate tab, so you do not have to scroll through endless sketchy images and PDFs looking for what you want. Google will open the lunch menu in one tab, drink offering in another, allowing you to quickly see if the restaurant fits your needs.
To search using Google Voice, just search using “show me the menu for (restaurant name),” keep in mind, if the restaurant is a chain, you may need to add the nearest location. On the web, just search, “menu (name of restaurant).”
This also gives restaurant owners a bit more Google power
While this feature still has a few hiccups, and will take a bit of time for restaurant owners to customize, this has the potential to benefit their business, exponentially. Each business can use it to update their information frequently; displaying specials of the day, or use it to advertise for special occasions, like Mother’s Day and New Year’s.
Google has not disclosed where it is getting the menu information from, although many speculate it is through a third party. Since there are multiple websites with menu information, such as, AllMenus and Zagat, it could be any one of these sources. Not all restaurants will display a full menu, yet.
While some people have reported the menus are outdated, I believe this will improve as soon as restaurant owners can approve and select their own menus, as well as, learning how to integrate this new function. This is definitely an improvement over searching for the restaurant, going to their site, hunting down the menu, and looking for something enticing, only to find out there are no prices. With Google, you can simply search for it and see it immediately. And anything that saves time is worth a look.