Yelp Launching Visual Menus With User-Contributed Photos

Yelp is announcing a new feature today that allows users to browse restaurant menus (with accompanying food porn) directly from the Yelp website and mobile app.

Last year, the company added the ability for businesses to include menu links in their Yelp profiles, but until now there hasn’t been any menu functionality on Yelp itself. A spokesperson sent me an early copy of the company blog post describing the feature:

We’ve combed the site to compile visual menus incorporating Yelp reviews and user-uploaded food pictures. Now you can not only read about that decadent chocolate raspberry truffle cheesecake swimming in a pool of hot fudge, you can see real users’ photos of said gut-busting dessert from every angle right alongside the menu item.

Users can bring up the new menus by clicking on the “Explore the Menu” button. In addition to aggregating dish information and pricing, along with relevant user reviews and photos, the menus will feature a section called “What’s Popular Here?” highlighting the dishes that are generating the most discussion from Yelp users.

As an example, the Yelp blog post points to the menu listing for “Gilroy’s Famous Garlic Ice Cream” at The Stinking Rose in Los Angeles. It’s listed as a popular item, and the page includes multiple photos, along with user reviews of the Stinking Rose views that mention the ice cream (not all of them positive, as you can imagine).

Although the menus are pre-populated with existing content, Yelp is also asking users to build them out: “Make note of what menu items you tried in your next restaurant review, and upload your own foodie shots with a caption so we know what to order.”

Menus will start rolling out on U.S. business pages today. The company said this is the first time it’s launching a feature simultaneously on the desktop website, the mobile website, and mobile apps.