What You Need To Know About Google’s Role in the Restaurant Space.
Did you know that Google has a growing Food, Beverage & Restaurant vertical? Between Maps, Local Search, and user-generated content in the form of reviews, Google has a robust hold on how internet users find and assess different restaurant options. Just over a year ago, Google redesigned its Maps site to show star ratings within the map view. More recently, Google Maps would serve up images of the most popular meals at a restaurant based on images pulled from reviews. As an extension of these convenience enhancements, Google also added meal-ordering and delivery features, straight from Maps, through partnerships with tech companies that process deliveries.
Why is the restaurant industry so attractive to Google? As with all sectors at this time, digital demand is soaring. And while the phrase “food near me” or “lunch near me” became a standard call to action for any hungry person with a Google Home or smartphone, the new habits being formed during the COVID-19 crisis around food ordering reveal a new set of opportunities. Even with people sheltering in place, Google Maps has secured its position as most smartphone users’ native navigation app (and it’s the default for anyone on an Android). This market share means that Google has the power to give restaurants increased visibility to the 1 billion mobile phone users who are searching for their next meal. The funnel to conversions can be quick, and the need to lean on third-party aggregators or delivery platforms may shrink. If the COVID-19 crisis has taught us anything about restaurants, it’s that margins in the food industry are razor-thin. There is not much leeway for commission fees – and any way to get more directly in front of the customer is significant.
This reduction of friction is Google’s persistent claim to fame – and as the world continues to seek ways to stay sane – and fed – in various states of lockdown, we can expect to see more on the horizon in Google’s restaurant capabilities soon.
If you are a restaurant owner looking for ways to leverage your Google presence and grow your customer base, ASTRALCOM can help. Reach out to learn more about our capabilities.