Google Upgrades Mobile Restaurant Display with New Features

Google has recently rolled out a number of upgrades to their mobile restaurant search results:

  • Speedier Menu Data in an AMP like form
  • More visual card like Local Finder results
  • Addition of Happy Hours

Speedier Menu Data in an AMP like form

With the rollout of the updated Google search app, Google is starting to include AMP like menu content attached to the restaurant Knowledge Panel. This is a mobile only feature as on the desktop it still links to the menu website.

If look at this search on the desktop it shows the website menu but on mobile it takes you to a Google hosted menu page. Clearly this is part of Google’s on-going strategy to speed up mobile AND keep users on their site longer.

More visual card like restaurant Local Finder results

I spotted this yesterday but Sergey Alakov, a Toronto SEO, highlighted it on Twitter. If an interior StreetView is available that seems to show first.

Addition of Happy Hours

These were first noted in the Forum for 169 Bar in NYC with a report of them being wrong and NOT being editable in the Google My Business dashboard. It appears from conversations with Google these are primarily being scraped from bar/restaurant websites although it is also likely that Google has a 3rd party data source.

Point being, its critical that you have them in an easy to read, preferably schema, format on your site noting both regular and happy hours. Google has not indicated when they will support the direct GMB input of these hours either via direct input or possibly API. It seems that the API access is likely to show up first though.

In related news Sergey also reports that, at least in Toronto, all Knowledge Panels have been changed to a full image and no map. I have yet to see this on my mobile device or desktop.

Clearly the obvious calls to action here are to either write a review or add a photo and the ones that are most important to the business of driving directions, calling or a website visit have been somewhat reduced in visibility.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Upgrades Mobile Restaurant Display with New Features by

7 thoughts on “Google Upgrades Mobile Restaurant Display with New Features”

  1. When you leave a review, Google will also ask follow up questions about the location. For restaurants they have asked if there is a happy hour among other questions. Increasingly Google is asking more from the reviewers (aka local guides). Would be great to have more control on data input on GMBs, especially for custom hours.

  2. @Nick
    Google is slowly rolling out GMB control of these enhanced features… first they get a 3rd party source for the data, then they roll it into the API and then in GMB

  3. I tried 12 different searches for restaurants in the DC area and suburbs The only advertisers I found were national pizza places and a publication marketing features and places to visit in that suburb. I believe that national chains do Adwords. I don’t believe from past experience its that different in most urban areas. I keep finding it stunning that restaurateurs mostly don’t pay attention to google.

    If there are a few who do and who may pay attention to your suggestions they could be visibility winners.

    For years it seems to me to be the b&m industry oblivious to google.

  4. @Dave
    I agree that very few restaurants take full advantage of Google. But obviously Google obviously perceives the searches in the arena profitable enough and important enough that they continue to invest heavily in the space.

    I work with one small restaurant in a nearby ski town and even just a modicum of Google engagement (GMB updates, reviews, reviews around the web, a tine bit of optimization) has provided them huge benefits.

  5. By example I took the DC suburb, Silver Spring, which is from a mailing perspective w/ zip codes, is a sprawling suburb, wherein google’s geo parameters assigns it a population in excess of half a million people. A sizable area; and with either Italian or Mexican restaurants far more than the 3 choices one sees in the Pac. No ads in Adwords. The first thing one sees in mobile is the Pac.

    Go to Yelp for either category and that town and there are restaurant ads and most of them are Way Way too far away in the large and traffic daunting Metro region of DC.

    In my view the restaurant advertisers are throwing away money when they could go to Adwords, don’t face bidding wars, can pinpoint geography that is in easy driving distance for logical customers, AND restaurant searches are so overwhelmingly in mobile.

    But they don’t pay attention to google at all and obviously some of them buy from those PITA Yelp phone sales people . not realizing that their ads are being shown to people an hour plus drive away. Utter waste of $$$

    Pretty astonishing!!!!

  6. Also noted for the first time for searches for something like “cuisine type” city name, beneath the pac included organic results from tripadvisor and Yelp for pages w/ titled something like “top ten” cuisine type city name. (i.e. Top ten Italian restaurants Silver SSpring)

    The interesting element was that the tripadvisor and Yelp pages included carousel photos from the sites !!!!!

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