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Why should I use Google Business?
Google's importance to restaurants is growing. The number of searches for 'food near me' has gone up 4x in the last five years, with 8.6B searches for 'food near me' every month. In 2019, 89% of diners researched on mobile before visiting a restaurant¹.
Source ¹ : Google/Numerator, "Restaurant Study," 2019.
Google Business is a FREE advertising tool available to all small business owners. Google creates a profile for each business that pops up when users search for relevant listings, like "food near me". With Google's free Google Business tool, you can control what appears in the listing and direct customers where you want them to go. This tool automatically adds your establishment to Google Maps for easy locating and navigating.
However, Google's relationship with marketplaces such as Uber Eats and Open Table puts them front and center in your profile, leading to 30% commissions and $1.25/cover fees to the restaurant. It's essential to update your Google Business Profile to redirect customers to your website instead to reduce commission, cover fees & other expenses.
This guide will outline how to optimize your Google Business Profile for restaurants to avoid commissions and cover fees from third-party services like Uber Eats and OpenTable. Spending a few minutes editing your Google Business Profile can save you thousands of dollars every month.
Why should I claim & update my Google Business Profile?
Don't have a Google Business Profile? Click here to learn more about how to set up your Google Business Profile.
Google will automatically populate your Google Business Profile with links to marketplaces such as Uber Eats and OpenTable. Why? Google's goal is to help searchers find what they're looking for as quickly as possible. For example, a table at your restaurant or a way to order pickup from your restaurant. Google does not prioritize saving restaurants commissions or cover fees.
Marketplaces know how valuable your Google Business Profile is for growing their business that they are even willing to pay for ad space in your profile. You may even see a third-party delivery or marketplace site creating a landing page in your restaurant's name!
Stop letting big companies profit off your restaurant's brand and reputation - claim your free Google Business profile and use the information below to optimize your revenue from Google searches.
What is Order with Google?
Customers can place orders directly from your Google Business Profile when it appears in Google search, Maps, and Google Assistant using trusted partners like Sociavore. The "Order Pickup" and "Order Delivery" buttons in the Google Business Profile are called Order with Google. Some marketplaces like DoorDash and Ritual will also integrate with Order With Google using their marketplace listings. However, any third-party marketplace buttons will result in high restaurant commissions and up to 10% in additional service fees for guests. On the flipside, when you use Order with Google through Sociavore, restaurants pay no commission.
How can I save money by updating my Google Business Profile?
Google will automatically aggregate all the links it thinks a customer can use to order or book from you. These links may include your website but will also list any third-party marketplace menus and reservation providers.
Never (ever) send traffic on your website or Google to any third-party marketplaces.
Why? You have already earned guests on your website - they're ready to visit or order now. Say a regular customer spends $20 every day for lunch. If you or Google send them to a marketplace, they will pay $22 (10% guest fee), and you will receive $14 for the same food (30% commission). You've now ruined your margins with this guest for an entire lifetime of the customer.
Third-party marketplaces should be used to find new guests only. The best practice here is to let new customers find you on the marketplace apps and let them earn the 30% they take - don't hand over your guests to them on a golden platter.
Make sure your online ordering website is linked. Remove links to third-party marketplaces.
Sociavore makes it easy to link to your website ordering channels. Just enter: <your domain>/order. Google makes it difficult to remove marketplace links. You may need to contact the marketplaces individually to remove them from your Google Business Profile. Need an email template to send to marketplaces to remove these links? Request one from our team in your demo.
Make sure your website's reservation feature is linked. Remove third-party reservation inks.
Google automatically aggregates reservation and waitlist links to your Google Business Profile. A third-party reservation provider, like OpenTable, may charge a cover fee for any bookings on their domain (opentable.com) but $0 fees if the reservation comes from your own website. You could save a ton on monthly reservation software bills by removing the OpenTable link from your Google Business profile and using your website link instead!
Let's use www.restaurant.com as an example domain for your restaurant website. Sociavore allows you to configure your existing reservation provider to restaurant.com/reserve. Whenever a guest visits that link, it will automatically take your guest to your reservation provider but from your domain name. All covers via your website link are $0. Using /reserve as your reservation link in your Google Business Profile will save you costly cover fees.
Bonus: This link does not have to be updated when you change reservation services! Sociavore takes care of directing customers to your current reservation partner.
And that's a wrap! With a complete Google Business Profile, you can reach further, draw in more people, and then turn them into customers to be funneled into your preferred and most profitable channels. Below is our visual guide with tips on what to look for when editing your Google Business Profile.