Google Maps tests showing a crowd-sourced menu for restaurants

Google Maps tests showing a crowd-sourced menu for restaurants

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For many years now, Google Maps has been helping us find the easiest routes to our destinations. The traffic predictions that the app makes are fairly accurate and reliable and besides helping us with traffic, Google Maps may soon tell us about how crowded our public transport ride may be. Apart from helping us with our commute, Google Maps also helps us Explore the nearby amenities and one of the highlights of the features is that it lets us find and rate surrounding eateries and restaurants. Now, there’s a major upgrade coming to the feature with Maps now showing popular menu items from these restaurants.

When you look up a restaurant on Google Maps, you might have seen information segmented in three tabs with self-explanatory titles – Overview, Reviews, and Photos. Now, there’s a new “Menu’ tab being added to this feature and it allows users to sift through the “popular dishes” available at a particular place. From what it seems, the information and pictures relating to these items are added by users themselves. For each item listed in the menu, users can add more images or leave their reviews along with ratings for the dish.

Users can suggest changes to the name of any particular dish or report if the name of the item is offensive. They can even inform if that particular item differs from the description or is not available at the specific place. Apart from suggesting changes to the name or the description of the dish, users can flag any media linked to the dish if it is inappropriate, violates any copyright, is incorrect, or is of poor quality.

There is an option to add names to the dish, suggesting that Google could be picking those images from the reviews left by visitors on Google Maps for a particular food joint. It wouldn’t be too surprising if Google is using its AI strength to identify some of the dishes and then asking users to rectify the incorrect information. For some popular places, the dishes may automatically be segmented under categories like “Appetizers,” “Entrees,” “Kids Menu,” etc. Further, it might be possible that the prices of certain dishes are also shown for some of the restaurants.

As of now, only a handful of users seem to have the feature, which means that Google could be testing with a small group of users. We will inform you in the case of a wider roll-out of the feature. Meanwhile, feel free to correct us if you’re using the feature and figure that we may have missed some information.

Source 1: Twitter user @wimber Source 2: Twitter user @D_Slawotsky