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Google news: new restaurant search

Google offers new restaurant search

Google officially announced earlier today that hungry users can now locate and view various restaurant menus in a “OneBox-style” response display at the top of the search results.  People who have tried in the past to find menus for various restaurants know how potentially valuable this new service can be.  Early online skeptics note that this is Google’s way of trying to take down websites like Urbanspoon and Yelp which already offer menus with their reviews.

Online authors opine the announcement is not only a bit premature but they also note that this is another attempt by Google to “tighten its grip on local searches.”  The theory is that Google can keep people off these other sites by providing them the information they are searching for right on the results page.  The Google menu OneBox not only shows different food options but it is also includes different divisions of assorted categories related to how each individual eatery organizes the menu.


Google Restaurant Search

Google not only brings up a OneBox-style menu but it also includes tabs for different meals and usually information on prices as well.  Early online investigations indicate the new Google search service seems somewhat incomplete.  Google instructions tell users to type out “show me the menu for” followed by the name of the specific eatery.

Early experiments indicate, however, that Google users presently get better results by typing in the name of the restaurant first and the word “menu” second.  Images are often confusing when one searches for restaurants that organize their menus in an untraditional fashion.  Pricing is often not included and many menus—even those of major chains such as The Olive Garden—are not yet available.  Another current limitation to Google’s new search engine accessory is that it is only presently available for dining establishments in the United States.

 (Image courtesy of Google)

About Will Phoenix

W. Scott Phoenix, B.A., B.S. was born in Hawaii, raised in Pennsylvania and resides in California. He has been a published writer since 1978. His work has appeared (under various names) in numerous places in print and online including Examiner.com. He is a single parent of three children and has also worked as an actor, singer and teacher. He has been employed by such publications as the Daily Collegian and the Los Angeles Times.
  • Joe Jones

    Looks like a lot of vapor ware to me.