Restaurant visits have fallen in the past year, but they are still one of the top categories that people search on, especially while on the go with a mobile device. The sector recently became the center of attention for two companies, Facebook and Yext, when each introduced their own take on ways to find specific food items and services.
While Facebook on Friday launched the ability to order food for pickup or delivery directly on the social network, Yext introduced the service Yext for Food, which pulls in the data and serves it on sites like Facebook.
Aside from Facebook, the data serves on the search engines Google and Bing, along with Yelp, Foursquare, AllMenus, delivery.com, and MenuPages, among many others.
The service launched alongside the news of new hire Lee Zucker, head of industry for food service at Yext, who says search terms have become more specific. People want to know where
they can find "somewhere with outdoor seating" or "Pizza near me."
Whether they are searching for a large chain like McDonald's or a small mom-and-pop restaurant, companies have not had the ability to "rake in that unbranded search," he said.
Postmates, Zomato, delivery.com, MenuPix, and Slice are now part of the Yext PowerListings Network, allowing restaurants to control their information across more resources as consumers decide where to eat.
Yext for Food aims to increase the visibility of individual menu items and restaurant attributes to provide more specific information. For example, the online information would tell the person searching for a quickly yet healthier lunch alternative when the Chick-fil-A is located in a Utah college campus and readily accessible to the public.
Working with Yext would give Chick-fil-A the ability to enter the information into the Knowledge Graph, which in turn would serve up in their online description. It would give the restaurant the ability to manage the information online per location.
Food is not the only highly searched on category, although it ranks at 90% among consumers. Retail follows at 66%. Entertainment, hotel and hospitability, and doctors round out the top five.