Google My Business is an important resource for promoting your business online and helping potential customers find the information you want them to know quickly. Since the status of restaurants is shifting frequently due to the conditions of the pandemic, using Google My Business’s latest changes meant to help restaurants can improve your relationship with your customers and help drive more business to your establishment.
New Attributes for Curbside and More
Restaurants have adopted new business models to stay afloat when their dining rooms are unable to open. Online ordering with curbside pickup allows customers to pick up meals from the storefront without needing to set foot inside. Contactless delivery is also a new innovation to drop off delivery orders without directly interacting with customers. Restaurants have also worked to expand outdoor dining options.
With these new services available, customers want to be able to find out which restaurants support them as easily as possible. Google My Business lets businesses take charge of how Google Search and Maps present their services. In addition to the address and type of business, users can set various attributes related to their offerings. Good use of these attributes can tell customers whether your business can serve them, and Google has now added options tailored to the needs of restaurants.
In May, Google added “curbside pickup”, “no contact delivery”, and “dine-in” as attributes in addition to previous takeaway, drive-thru and home delivery attributes. Using Google My Business to add these to a restaurant location signals to customers that these options are available at that storefront. Customers may not want to go through the effort of figuring out which restaurants are open for business, so having up-to-date information about your services is increasingly valuable.
While businesses can mark themselves ‘temporarily closed’ due to Covid-19, they should not do so if they are still open for delivery and takeout. Using these attributes is an alternative that communicates to customers that your business is still serving them.
According to Google, more than 3 million restaurants have added or edited their dining attributes since March. In addition to the new attributes for types of restaurant service, Google My Business can be used to identify whether a restaurant location is open or closed, and what its hours of operation are since these details have also changed for many restaurants recently.
In addition, virtual kitchens can now verify their businesses on Google My Business to make it easier for customers to find non-standard food delivery solutions.
Using Google My Business
Business owners who haven’t done so already should go to Google My Business and claim their business or add its details from scratch. Once verified, this will allow them to edit attributes, hours, and other relevant information.
In addition to listing business details, you can also publish posts that customers can see. A new form for COVID-19 posts has been created, letting you connect to your customers about the current situation. In your account, you can designate a Covid-19 update post that announces what changes to your business you have made. This can provide more specific information than the new attributes you add. In addition, businesses can enable messaging for direct communication and set an auto-message to show customers their current status.
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Keeping Google Up-to-Date
It is critical for users of Google My Business to keep their information current, especially in the current era when many consumers are relying on online searches to research local businesses and learn their status. Restaurants can also manage their menus and monitor Google Maps for reviews.
Restaurants that have transitioned from dine-in to delivery and pickup options need to make sure customers are aware of their offerings, both to retain their past customers with a new sales channel and to attract new ones. As conditions are changing on an ongoing basis, being able to place updates on a trusted platform like Google is a valuable tool to enhance the brand of a local business.