Earlier, Restaurants were allowed to create Google My Business listings just like any other business, but cloud kitchens/ virtual kitchens were not allowed GMB listings. Restaurants could utilize the full benefits of Google My Business Profiles whereas Virtual Kitchens were excluded from it.
What is a Cloud Kitchen?
A commercial kitchen is utilized for directly delivering food products to customers without any dine-in facility. A cloud kitchen is professionally called Virtual Kitchen.
Google My Business has two types of Listings:
- Physical Address Listing
- Service Area Business Listing
Service area business listings are for Businesses that directly serve the customers at their locations and not at their own business addresses. For example plumber service or Cloud kitchen.
What is Virtual Food Brand?
Suppose you sell two types of Dishes: North Indian dishes and South Indian dishes, each having different audience categories. And you are selling it with different brand names, but from the Virtual kitchen, then the brands are called Virtual Food Brands. One virtual kitchen can have two brands.
Earlier there was no policy regarding Virtual kitchens and no category for them. Now Google has brought a new policy regarding Virtual kitchen listings. Check out:
Rule #1: Virtual Food Brand’s Listing will be a Service area Listing. The address will not be visible.
When you create a Google My Business profile for a Virtual Food Brand, Google may verify your address by sending you a postcard. However, your address will not be visible on Google listing or Google maps. You will specify the service area in which you serve. Only in these areas, you will be found. Generally, a 40-45km area is covered from your given address.
Rule #2: Virtual Food Brands must have a website and have its branding
A website is a virtual office for a business. Every Business needs to have a business website. Even today, large restaurants do not have their websites built and depend largely upon food delivery platforms. If you own the business, you must own the business website as well. Food delivery platforms take a commission from you for food delivery. Whereas, if you own a website and generate leads from there and do online transactions, the profits are all yours.
Rule #3: If more than one Virtual Food Brand is located at one address, they might have to double verify.
Earlier this year, Google announced the double verification of businesses. This seems to be in accordance with the process.
Rule #4: Virtual Kitchens can create separate listings after separate verification
Virtual Kitchens can create separate listing apart from the Virtual Food Brand listing that already operates. Suppose a mega kitchen can have a separate Google My Business listing for its premises along with having two virtual food brands serving North Indian dishes and South Indian dishes respectively in the same cloud kitchen.
Rule #5: Need permanent signboard for Pickup service.
If a Virtual Food Brand also provides pickup service along with delivery service, it becomes necessary to have a permanent signboard at that location
The Benefits of having a GMB profile are limitless. You can have your own branding instead of depending on Food delivery platforms. And you will not need to share your revenue with these platforms. With a Google My Business profile, the customers will start recognizing your brand and business and will come directly to you.