How I Used Google Maps to Find a Restaurant

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My partner and I used Google Maps to find a restaurant last weekend. I wanted to just window-shop for a crowded restaurant and then stop and eat. She wanted to search for a restaurant on the web. Um, so we searched the web! I typed “Frankston Australia” into the maps.google.com search box (if I was logged into my Google account, Google would have used information from my preferences to centre the map close to where I live). Then I searched for “restaurant”. The restaurant with the highest ranking in the left column was Waves On The Beach. I zoomed into the map, saw it was on the foreshore, and then clicked on its teardrop. An info-box summarizing its Place Page displayed and it had 37 reviews and a 4 star ranking. The more info>> button in the info box took us to the restaurant’s Place Page where we could see information such as the type of food they cooked, opening hours and so forth.

Customer reviews were important to us. These were mostly harvested by Google from restaurant review sites, as well as some from Google. It’s important to sift through these reviews and not just be turned off by the first bad one you see. I sometimes wonder whether bad reviews on Place Pages have been contributed by competing businesses. For example, the review for Waves on the Beach that read “scolded like a child in full view of other patrons” seemed out of character compared to other reviews that were either balanced, or raving.

The restaurant hadn’t responded to its reviews and I was disappointed in this. I really wanted to see how they dealt with customer complaints.

I was able to use my mouse to drag the map around because the Google Map search was still displaying restaurants. We had decided to look for somewhere closer to home because it was getting late and we were hungry. As the map moved new restaurants appeared on the screen, and the results in the left column changed to reflect what was shown on the map.

We finally decided on a nearby Indian Restaurant. We used the contact details from Google Places to telephone a booking. Although there were only three reviews on its Google Place page, these confirmed the impression I already had of the restaurant from a previous visit. So, we ate, enjoyed, and now there’s 4 reviews on Marpha Indian Restaurant’s Place Page!

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