New Google Business guidelines for Virtual Food Brands and Delivery Businesses
Google has introduced new local business profile guidelines specifically for virtual food brands and delivery-only food services. These measures also relate to businesses that package a local restaurant’s food under their own branding but who do not have their own physical location or business within the area.
What is a Virtual Food Brand?
A virtual food brand is a company that operates digitally but has no physical presence. This means that they do not have a physical restaurant or pick-up location. Essentially, a virtual brand serves food that is available through delivery only.
Virtual brands have been operating in the region for many years, but the global pandemic was a catalyst for their growth.
What do Google’s new updates mean for virtual food brands?
Google now allows virtual food brands to use the new features if they meet the below criteria:
Co-located food brands that offer a local pick-up
- Food brands that are co-located must have separate permanent signage. They should display their address only if they offer pick-up to all customers.
- Delivery-only brands (brands with no-pick up option) who operate out of shared kitchens must conceal their address and add service areas to that specific brand to prevent confusing customers.
Delivery-only food brands
- Delivery-only brands (brands running out of virtual kitchens) are permitted to use the features if they have their own, distinctive, branded packaging and website.
- Multiple virtual brands that operate from one location are permitted; however, they must take additional verification steps.
- Delivery-only brands are required to include their service areas and conceal the address listed on their business profile to prevent confusing customers.
- In cases where there is a partnership in which the food brand has approved the virtual kitchen to be the verified food provider, the virtual kitchen is allowed to manage each authorized brand’s business profile once the authorization is completed.
- Where there is a facility that holds delivery-only brand products, they are permitted to have their own distinct business profile. Only people who are affiliated with the facility are able to claim and verify this business profile.
With Google now allowing virtual food brands to create listings within Google Business Profiles this will also mean they can have a presence on Google Maps and in the local search results, which creates a new opportunity for virtual brands to gain the attention they deserve. By now having the ability to be visible in local search results, virtual food brands have the potential to increase their brand awareness and increase purchases. Based on Google’s data, 76% of users who conduct local searches on their phones will typically visit a business within 24 hours of the search, and 28% of these people are likely to go ahead and make a purchase.
This feature may be used even in the cases when an address has no listing and when there is no physical location for the brand apart from repackaging a local restaurant’s product to incorporate their own branding.
If you have any questions about Google for business, please feel free to contact our expert team at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.