Automattic’s WordPress.com recently added a restaurant vertical to make it easier for restaurant owners to manage their sites and avoid the pitfalls of Flash-based homepages that auto-play annoying music and don’t work on mobile. Today, those sites get even better, thanks to a new integration between Locu and Automattic that makes it easy for restaurateurs to bring their Locu menus to their WordPress.com sites. WordPress.com users can simply embed a Locu shortcode on WordPress.com and every edit they make on Locu will immediately appear on their sites.
Locu, which raised a $4 million Series A round last year and recently branched out a bit beyond restaurants with the launch of its merchant dashboard, allows restaurant owners to manage their menus in one place. Once the menu is finished, users can print them (Locu offers a number of templates and design tools), share them on social networks and push them out to Locu’s partner sites like CitySearch and OpenTable.
The new WordPress embeds also come with a number of menu templates and, Locu stresses, should also provide some SEO enhancements on the site because it automatically embeds the “menu and price list metadata into the body of the website, increasing the likelihood of items being found online by potential customers.”
“We are very excited about the integration with Locu,” Raanan Bar-Cohen Automattic’s SVP of commercial services said in a statement today. “With Locu’s easy-to-use WordPress.com shortcode, restaurants can more easily deliver an engaging menu experience directly on their WordPress.com sites to further connect with their consumers.”
Locu offers a free tier for restaurants that also includes this new WordPress.com integration and paid accounts that offer more advanced features and premium templates cost $25/month. The service currently has about 15,000 users.
For WordPress.com, this integration is yet another step toward positioning itself as more than just a site for hosting blogs. Besides restaurants sites, WordPress.com also launched verticals for schools and portfolios. As Automattic’s CEO told our own Colleen Taylor last year, WordPress may have started out as a service for blogging, but “then it became just a content management system so people started building all kinds of websites. And now, those websites get more personalized into small business areas like restaurants.”