Google Inc. recently declared that restaurant menus will now be displayed in the search results for restaurants. However, the facility is currently limited to users in the U.S alone.
Google announced that the menus will be presented in a OneBox format, which will be separated into different tabs depending on restaurant dayparts like lunch, dinner and also how a particular restaurant arranges its menu. The menu will appear on the top of the search results page and will allow users to simply switch from one menu section to another.
With the introduction of this new feature, users will now have to type "show me the menu for" and a restaurant name in the search bar to obtain the desired results, thus eliminating the hassle of searching several web pages.
This is quite similar to Microsoft Corporation’s (MSFT - Free Report) Bing search’s attempt to offer precise information along with other search results.
Google has been striving to enter the restaurant app space for a long time. In 2011, it acquired Zagat, which provides restaurant guides for cities all around the world, based on the feedbacks from daily customers. In 2008, it failed in its plans to acquire Zagat’s rival site Yelp, Inc. (YELP - Free Report) , which recently partnered with Yahoo! Inc. .
With this move, Google wants to take on Urbanspoon, Zomato, Yelp and many other websites, which already offer menus in their search results.
Google is currently taking data from a third-party source and will likely build on its resources, whether in-house or acquired. It is also likely to make the service more user-friendly, so people don’t have to type or say “show me the menu for”.
Currently, Google holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).