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Yelp Adds Restaurant Menus (And Images)
Following on the heels of Foursquare, YP and a few others in the local segment Yelp is adding restaurant menu information and pricing. With the unfortunate headline “Yelp Menus: Connecting People with Great Local Food Porn,” the Yelp blog explains that menus will be paired with users’ uploaded food images:
Now you can not only read about that decadent chocolate raspberry truffle cheesecake swimming in a pool of hot fudge, you can see real users’ photos of said gut-busting dessert from every angle right alongside the menu item…
Specifics on menu items, like description and price, will match up with Yelp’s user generated photos and reviews mentioning that particular dish.
While others have restaurant menus, this combination of menu information and user-generated images is something that Yelp’s competitors don’t have. The content is rolling out in the US on the Yelp site, mobile web and Yelp apps simultaneously.
I had some difficulty finding live menus on the app or the site so I’m using an example in the Yelp blog post. The profile page features an “explore the menu” link that leads to a page that shows menu items, images and pricing. There’s also a helpful “what’s popular here” box that highlights selected menu choices.
My belief is that the menu information is coming from SinglePlatform, which supplies menu information to Foursquare, YP, the New York Times and others. Google doesn’t offer local restaurant menu information online or in mobile, but my understanding earlier this summer was that Google was slated to get the data.
However SinglePlatform was acquired by ConstantContact for roughly $100 million in June. It’s not clear to me whether the site will continue to work to expand its network (my assumption is yes). Startup Locu also provides restaurant menu information.