Google adds restaurant menu function to search result pages

Avatar By Aaron Sims | 7 years ago

Google is getting more food-centric.

According to a recent article from TechCrunch, the search engine will adopt a new feature to help culinary obsessives choose a restaurant. Going forward, Google will be trying to display restaurant menus on its actual search result pages. Supposedly, a web user will be able to search for their favorite restaurant on Google and the menu for that restaurant will pop up at the top of the results page, freeing the user from the need to go look for the menu on the actual restaurant website. The menu interface looks great, with easy-to-read text and a system that allows users to switch easily from one menu segment (e.g. Soups & Appetizers) to another (like Salads or Entrees).

So far, it’s not exactly clear where Google is getting its menu data, whether or not it takes into account restaurants that switch their menu up on a daily or weekly basis, or why some restaurant menus appear and others do not. In fact, at the moment, it seems that the majority of restaurants are not supported by the feature. TechCrunch theorized that Google had partnered up with the menu aggregator site, AllMenus.com, and that any menus not appearing on that site would also not show up in Google searches.

The Google menu feature has big potential to make choosing a restaurant – or deciding on what to order ahead of time – much easier. However, in order for the feature to take off, Google is going to have to figure out a way to support a larger number of restaurants. If Google menus only show up for a third of restaurants, many users won’t even realize that the function has been added. On the other hand, if the search engine site can partner up with restaurants to get up to date menu information – especially, again, for restaurants that change up their menu frequently – then it could become the go-to source for restaurant aficionados. Since many restaurant websites use different flash functions on their websites, the Google menu concept could also prove to be a nice, simplistic alternative for mobile users.