Last year during Google’s I/O conference, they added the ability to analyze the physical restaurant menu and then highlight which are the popular dishes. The latest integration of this feature is with Google Maps since a lot of people upload photos of the restaurant’s menu anyway. You’ll also be able to see what are the popular dishes so if it’s your first time to go to the place and you believe in people’s opinions, this can help you choose what to order.
9 to 5 Google says that when you’re viewing a listing on Google Maps, you will now be able to see a suggestion chip at the bottom which says “Explore dishes”. There is also a Lens icon at the top-right if you want to do a visual search on the menu. The popular dishes will be highlighted in orange and will have a star icon. This way, you can still view and read the descriptions and pricing while still knowing what’s been recommended based on popularity.
In case you’re wondering what those dishes look like, there’s a bottom sheet that has a carousel of popular dishes in images. When you tap that sheet, you’ll see the photos and reviews from Google Maps. So basically, they’re matching it with all the crowdsourced data they already have. The picture uploaded in Maps is being sent to Lens but now the business location is already known.
While you can always just scan the menu on Google Lens, it saves you from opening up two apps. Most businesses are already on Google Maps anyway so you can just do both things there. And since not a lot of people know Lens capabilities, this is also a good way to advertise what it can do on Maps, which is more widely used by people anyway.
Google has already rolled out the Lens integration on Google Maps for Android devices. Check it out the next time you’re at a restaurant and you don’t know what to order.