Google updated its Google Business profile guidelines and now allows virtual food brands to be listed under some conditions.
What is a virtual food brand? It’s a form of a restaurant that has no brick-and-mortar outlet but only exists digitally. That means that a virtual brand offers food via delivery only, or that it collaborates with an existing restaurant and third-party delivery apps.
For example, you might have your own brand of a meatball sub, you know the ingredients and the recipe which you share with a specific restaurant. That restaurant then makes and sells your meatball sub instead of you. So, basically – you own a branded meatball sub that is available in certain places.
So, how will this work?
Co-Located Food Brands Offering Pick-up
- Co-located food brands must each have their own signage. If they offer pick-up to all customers, their address should be displayed.
- If a brand only delivers from a joint kitchen, the address must be hidden and the service area must be added specifically to that brand in order to prevent confusing their customers.
Delivery-only food brands
- If they have distinct branding and a distinct website, delivery-only brands (i.e. those operating from virtual kitchens) are allowed.
- Multiple virtual brands operating from the same location are permitted but require additional verification.
- To avoid confusing their customers, delivery-only brands must hide their address on their business profile and add their service areas.
- If a food brand authorizes a virtual kitchen to provide food through a verified provider, the virtual kitchen may manage the business profile of each authorized brand after the authorization is confirmed.
- If a facility uses a delivery-only brand, it is allowed to have its own separate business profile.
Focus on Local? -> Google now allows virtual food brands to have Google Business Profiles
“Google has updated its guidelines under the ‘guidelines for chains, departments & individual practitioners’ to allow virtual food brands to be listed w/conditions.” https://t.co/tNeUlYtKeF pic.twitter.com/GwMj6I0heZ
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) May 9, 2022
Why Is This Important?
Because a virtual food brand can now get the recognition it deserves. By being able to appear on Local Search, you increase brand awareness and achieve more purchases. According to Google, 76% of people who use their phones to conduct local searches eventually visit a business within 24 hours and 28% make a purchase as a result. Sounds good, right?