Published On: Sun, May 25th, 2014

Facebook to Compete With Yelp and GrubHub by Offering Menus

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Social media giant Facebook now allows restaurants to upload their menus.

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Last week Facebook announced its intention to enter the menu listings business. The new foray for the world’s number one social networking site seems to fit in with its business expansion and diversification plans. And with almost one billion users world wide, restaurants should be thrilled to have a chance to be associated with the web site.

Now, with the help of the marketing company Constant Contact, restaurants that have pages on Facebook will be able to directly upload their menus as a file to the site. Currently such restaurants have needed to manually type in their menus or upload pictures of them.

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SinglePlatform, the service offered by Constant Contact available in the US and Canada, allows businesses to upload their menus and pictures of what they serve to the Internet. All restaurants that use the service will have their information automatically added to Facebook.

The vice president and general manager of SinglePlatform said in a statement, “You probably already know that Facebook is an excellent tool for engaging loyal customers and spreading the word about business activities. Having a menu easily available on Facebook is convenient for those who regularly interact with your brand there.”

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No longer do they have to open a separate browser window or different app; everything they need is right on the local business Page. SinglePlatform restaurant customers can now insert their menus on their Facebook Page as a new tab right next to their photos and likes tabs. Any change—from new menu and drink items to weekly specials—can be made directly from their SinglePlatform account, and it will be reflected on their Facebook Page and elsewhere across the SinglePlatform publishing partner network.”

This is part of Mark Zuckerberg ‘s plan to bring in more local businesses as users. Many small businesses already use Facebook pages as an alternate web site. Facebook does not, as of yet, charge for such use of its web site. It generates revenue through posting advertisements on the businesses’ pages that is related to the individual business’ services.

While Facebook is not charging restaurants for listing their menus or allowing them to take orders through it at this time, it might at a future date. Users can, however, already make reservations at restaurants through Facebook.

Facebook, for obvious reasons, will not also offer restaurant reviews as sites such as Yelp do. But users can always post their comments on a restaurant’s page, subject to deletion by the page’s owner.

Attempts in the past by retailers such as Gamestop and J.C. Penny to offer on line stores through Facebook failed.

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