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New to Google My Business API – Structured Menus for Restaurants

It wasn’t so long ago that users were primarily searching for locations and phone numbers of places to eat in their area. However, the demand for more specific information concerning what exactly is on the menu has been steadily growing for a few years.

To that end, Google My Business API users can now customize their entire menu for visitors. How does this differ from previously available options? Before, Google My Business users doing their local SEO due diligence could merely supply and manage links to their menus. These links would either come from their website, or an online menu directory.

The new structured menu feature allows for an enhanced customer experience, complete with photos of each menu item, as well as the price. Furthermore, business owners are free to enter a description of individual menu items for their online audience.

This means that business owners can keep things up to date and accurate, leading to an increasing customer satisfaction – and traffic. Fast food giant Arby’s, for example, uses Yext to regularly update their specials and promotions. Other major chains like Panera Bread and Denny’s have come aboard as well.

Here’s a simple JSON request that shows how to publish a simple breakfast menu to a location:

REQUEST:

Courtesy: maps-apis.googleblog.com

It also means less latency. Hungry potential customers do not have to wait an extra half a second as they are redirected to a menu which may or may not includes the most recent information or photos.

Now, a Google Maps search for a specific item can turn up a menu item in their area – from a business they may have never patronized, or otherwise considered.

The update also provides advantages for smaller businesses using Google My Business API. Structured menu capabilities mean their local SEO efforts won’t all be focused on improving their search ranking. They can even garner the attention of new customers using keywords related to particular menu items – keywords that they normally wouldn’t see a lot of benefit from.

Clearer, more unfettered access to menu items can additionally cut time spent making a decision offline in physical locations, increasing the amount of traffic a brick and mortar can accommodate.

Information can be customized to describe menu items at available at separate locations. In addition, certain menu items, such as breakfast, can be grouped and presented together. Perhaps the best part of all is that owners using Google My Business API will enjoy some of the same speediness their visitors will, as changes they make take effect within minutes.

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