Google Maps has added a “popular dishes” section to eatery listings, giving prospective diners a faster way to check out a restaurant’s most talked about food and drinks. The popular dishes section is located within a listing’s overview tab and is already available on Google Maps for Android devices. The section will be rolling out to iOS devices over the next few months.

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Recommendations on a silver platter. The popular dishes section is populated by a machine learning algorithm that matches the names of dishes (supplied by users) to corresponding photos and reviews. As seen above, popular dishes are displayed in a carousel and tapping on a dish will display associated reviews and images.

Why we care. Recommendations and reviews are the bread and butter of the food and beverage (F&B) industry and can have a big impact on the bottom line. Restaurant owners now have one more way to optimize their Maps listings by encouraging their patrons to post photos of their meals and/or leave reviews to build out their popular dishes sections.

This can be especially useful for F&B businesses in areas that get a lot of tourism, as Maps can translate reviews and provides a visual accompaniment so customers have an idea of what they’re ordering.

Since May, Google has launched a number of new features with Maps at its core. It redesigned Explore tab to help users find things to do, added planning features to facilitate groups, created an all-in-one Trips interface for travelers and now its enticing customers with popular dishes. All of these offerings centralize a user’s activities around Google’s services, which can ultimately make business more dependent on Google as well.


About The Author

George Nguyen is an Associate Editor at Third Door Media. His background is in content marketing, journalism, and storytelling.

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