In addition to redesigned venue pages and simpler sharing, Foursquare is making it easier for customers to decide where to eat. On Tuesday, the company announced that more restaurant menus have been added to its Explore section thanks to a new partnership with Locu — the same company powering menus on Yelp.
The new menus join those already contributed by local discovery startup SinglePlatform, which partnered with Foursquare in January 2012. Since then, the menus of almost 250,000 U.S. restaurants have been added to Foursquare. Adding more menus can only help the company as it tries to compete with Yelp in local search.
Now menus entered or updated on Locu will be published to Foursquare in real-time. Pricing information will be visible in Explore results, and for some of these restaurants (Foursquare didn’t say how many) the company has added a pricing icon to customers can quickly gauge how expensive a place is.
Restaurants are encouraged to update their venue pages on Foursquare and add your menu on Locu and SinglePlatform to help more people find you in Explore. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore other platforms that are offering similar services, however.
In an effort to keep the platform’s data more up-to-date, it’ll be adding updates to hours, phone numbers, and addresses as business owners make them. Additionally, Foursquare is also working to incorporate price and service lists for non-restaurants. This means that soon customers will be able to view services offered by spas, nail salons, hair salons, yoga studios, gyms, dry cleaners and more.
Expanding beyond restaurants will help Foursquare become even more valuable for consumers and businesses alike. And it’s a necessary step as the company moves beyond check-ins and focuses more on local search. It’s a good start, but Foursquare will have to work fast to compete with the likes of Yelp, Twitter, and Facebook, all of which are making strides in local search.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.