Google Maps in Australia has introduced a new option for restaurants and establishments in the food industry, doing its best to detect links to a menu or online booking service straight from the business’ website, without them having to edit their maps listing by hand.
The option to view a Menu, or book a table appears in both standard and Beta version of Google Maps for Android. From our quick investigations, it appears that Google has partnered with restaurant booking services Open Table, as well as Dimmi.
The Menu link appears to be generated automatically, based on Google inspecting the listed website for the business. We’ve seen examples of links to menus stored as PDFs or webpages, and links to services including Dimmi, OpenTable and MenuLog. For example we found instances of a link to a menu on cocu.com.au, which is a local Canberra company managing a number of restaurants, bars and cafes.
In terms of booking services, the ‘Find Table’ option links you to the respective site, whichever has been linked on the restaurant’s website and offers available bookings. Other major Australian restaurant booking services including Yumtable don’t appear to be included as a partner for this integration – at least we can’t find any restaurants with this service in use.
Open Table is a global restaurant booking service which moved into the Australian market late last year after acquiring local service bookarestaurant.com in September. Open Table currently has access to over 32,000 restaurants, cafes, neighbourhood restaurants globally – but has been bringing in establishments across major cities and states across Australia since their launch.
Open Table in Australia now includes restaurants in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide/SA, Canberra, Central, Far North and South East QLD, Perth/WA, Northern Territory and Tasmania.
Google previously partnered with Open Table in the US to include restaurant reservations in Google Maps in 2014. Google’s support documents still list only Open Table as a partner, so it’s possible that Google will be announcing this new feature soon.
Dimmi is an Australian service which began with their first online reservation booking service back in 2010. The service currently operates in Australia only, offering booking services for some 3,000 Australian restaurants across all major cities around Australia, as well as selected regional areas.
We’ve reached out to Google Australia for comment, but haven’t heard back at this time.