Let's face it — as a hungry consumer, you've probably asked Siri or Google questions like, *"where can I get curly friends from a restaurant open now?"*or *"where can I find a pizzeria with gluten-free options?"*With 83% of consumers reading a restaurant's menu online before deciding where to eat,* it's apparent that consumers are now searching online for specific food items more than ever before. And the way they search is evolving quickly. Smart devices, voice search, AI, and intelligent services make it easy for them to search for specific cravings, types of cuisine, and particular menu items.
Because of this, your menu is the backbone – some may even call it the 'identity' – of your restaurant. And great care is needed to craft the perfect one, especially in today's digital ecosystem.
Consumers value the ability to choose and select.
67% of consumers say that they consider more than three options before deciding where to eat.* This is where a restaurant's menu comes in. It is a key decision maker for searching consumers.
Your menu information is the key ingredient for your business to show up in search results. Menus provide intelligent services, such as Google, Bing, Alexa, Siri, and others, with the rich details — the structured data — required to answer consumers' queries, like "where can I get curly fries" and "pizzeria with gluten-free options." Many of these intelligent services have begun indexing menu and attribute data, which create new opportunities for restaurant brands to optimize themselves for search with the exact search terms consumers are already using.
Menu data constantly changes.
Your restaurant's structured data – menu, hours, location, description – is always changing and can become fragmented throughout the digital ecosystems that powers it. Unfortunately, the majority of a restaurant's data goes underutilized, because it is impossible to collect and manage all of it.
Ideally, all of the rich, structured information about a restaurant and its menu would live in one place, with one source of truth powering internal systems. This unified foundation ensures that everything intelligent services need to serve consumers with the details they want to make a dining decision is accurate and in front of them in moments of intent.
How to reach hungry searchers in moments of high intent.
- Add rich attributes (price range, meals service, attire required)
- Ensure menu items are accurate and up-to-date
- Enhance discoverability in search results with menu and attribute information
- Manage structured data from one central system
For more information on how to optimize your restaurant and menu information, check out our infographic, Where Should We Eat?, and our recent whitepaper, The Hungry Searcher: How Restaurants Can Attract More Diners Today.
* Yext Local Search Behavior Study, July 2017