Have you ever found yourself craving a specific type of food but didn’t know quite where to order it from (check out OpenTable, KidsEatFor, FoodSpotting, and UEatCheap)? As someone who admittedly enjoys to eat, I have found myself in this situation. I’d be sitting there on my lazy derriÃ¨re thinking “Mmmm, I could really use a calzone right now!” Try and tell me I am the only person who has ever been there.
In the past, Google has done a pretty good job helping here. You do need to know how to search just right and how to sift through the results but the effort is usually worth it. However, what if there was a site dedicated to view and search through any restaurant menu in your area? I could then just type in “calzone” and my city/state or zip code and up would pop all of the calzone listings in restaurants in my area. I have found just that in OpenMenu.
OpenMenu helps to bring restaurants and customers together. They offer benefits both for the restaurant and the eater. Let’s look at both.
How OpenMenu Benefits Restaurants
OpenMenu offers several benefits to restaurants. It’s a place to put your menu for customers to find and search from. Restaurants should be happy to partake in a free service such as this.
Your Menu In One Place
Are you tired of attempting to maintain a menu in more than one place? You probably have at least a limited version of your menu on your website and there are also other food sites you may be maintaining your menu on. OpenMenu tries to become the one place for your menu. Check out these tools making it easy to maintain your menu in one place:
- If you want your menu on your website, OpenMenu has released a WordPress plugin allowing you to do tasks like putting specials in your sidebar, adding a menu page with your OpenMenu menu on it, and more.
- If you have a Facebook Page for your restaurant, and you should, you can add a tab containing your OpenMenu menu.
Your Menu Searchable
Imagine the publicity you can have if people in your area can search for menu items they want and your food shows up on their list. Just having the text of your menu online getting indexed by search engines is helpful enough but now you can have your food show up where the people can more easily find what they are looking for.
How OpenMenu Benefits Eaters
Since I don’t own a restaurant, this is the category I fit in and the area that caught my attention with OpenMenu. I fell in love with the idea of searching for a food item I am currently craving. They call it OpenMenu Search and it offers several ways to search.
First, you can search for what you want to eat. Are you visiting Chicago and wondering where you can find a good steak? Go to openmenu.com/search and type the food item and the city information.
The search results should give you everything you need to find the item you want including the dish, price, restaurant name, and the address. Clicking the link will bring up the rest of the restaurant information. Very cool.
You can also search for restaurants which are listed in your area. Go to openmenu.com/search/location.php, enter your city information, and click Check Location.
It will give you a map and tell you how many restaurants are listed for the city and offer a link to the current list.
There’s a lot of good things about OpenMenu but there are a few things that need to improve.
- First off, they should design the main site to be a little more intuitive. For instance, it took some stumbling around to find links to the various search pages.
- Secondly, although there are listings in my area, they are largely chain restaurants. I would like to see some mom & pop restaurants jump on board. Often you can find some of them via a Google search but they ought to get on sites like this also.
- The other thing is that most of the restaurants currently participating are in the United States. Maybe that’s the target market?