Google Maps is already the preferred way for millions of people to find and get to new restaurants, but Google doesn’t want you to stop using the service once you arrive. In a new feature rolling out to Android phones today and coming soon to iPhones, Google will use crowd-sourcing to spotlight popular dishes so you know what to order.
The new “dish-covery” feature, as Google cheekily refers to it, is powered by a machine learning algorithm that matches dish names with relevant photos and reviews provided by Google Maps users. It’s kind of like Waze but for burgers and salads.
Here’s how it works: When you pull up a restaurant page in Google Maps, you’ll see a new “Popular dishes” section in Overview. Tap one of them and you’ll be taken to the new “Menu” tab, where you’ll find pictures, reviews, and ratings from other people who have tasted them. At I/O in May, Google also announced a new Lens feature that lets users point their phone at a menu to automatically highlight popular dishes using the same Google Maps data.
The new menu feature is part of Google’s ongoing effort to turn Maps into a one-stop shop for the things you want to do, not just a way to get directions. Over the past few updates, Google has rolled out powerful discovery and recommendation tools to help users find new places, and it also spotlights nearby events that you may be interested in attending.