Yesterday I wrote about Google’s new menu search result shortcut and how it can help restaurants by giving potential visitors decision-making information in a timely manner.
Today I want to follow up and expand that idea. What else can Google show in search results to help out restaurants and, by extension, other small business? What do potential diners look for on a restaurant’s web site?
After looking at several restaurant listings, I’ve found that Google already does this quite well.
1. Eye candy: a tantalizing image to set the mood? Check.
2. Practical info: address, phone number, directions, hours of operation, everything needed to find the place? Check.
3. Menu or a link to a menu? Check. Not all restaurants have menus as part of the search results yet.
4. Reviews: a summary, visually presented, of reviews on Google and links to more reviews? Check, very clearly, graphically and numerically.
5. Reservations? Check. Online reservations are easiest.
6. Prices: can I afford this? Check.
The only two things I’d add are:
1. A one-line description of the cuisine. Let customers know at a glance what the place serves.
2. Best place to park and best way to get there with public transportation.
The goal of an online presence is to make it as easy as possible for guests to visit the restaurant and to set expectations. Google has set these shortcuts up quite well. After that, it’s up to the chef & staff to do everything possible to create a positive dining experience.