Google has updated its Google Business profile guidelines page under the “guidelines for chains, departments & individual practitioners” to allow virtual food brands to be listed with “conditions.”
One of the more popular virtual food brands is MrBeast Burgers, a popular YouTube creator has deals with local burger shops to sell his own branded burgers but MrBeast does not have any official burger shop or workers. You buy virtual branded food items made by the local shop. Joy Hawkins said with these updated guidelines “Mr. Beast would be allowed listings and should set them up as service area listings (without an address).”
Updated guidelines. The updated guidelines now say “virtual food brands are permitted with conditions.” It goes on to write out those conditions:
Co-located food brands offering pick-up
- Food brands that are co-located each must have permanent separate signage. They should display their address only if they offer pick-up to all customers.
- Delivery-only brands (no-pick up option) out of shared kitchens must hide their address and add service areas to that specific brand to avoid confusing their customers.
Delivery-only food brands
- Delivery-only brands (i.e. those operating out of virtual kitchens) are permitted if they have distinct branded packaging and a distinct website.
- Multiple virtual brands operating out of one location are permitted, but are subject to additional verification steps.
- Delivery-only brands must add their service areas and hide the address on their business profile to avoid confusing their customers.
- If there is a partnership where a food brand has authorized the virtual kitchen as a verified provider of the food, the virtual kitchen may manage each authorized brand’s business profile once the authorization is confirmed.
- The facility that houses the delivery-only brands, i.e. Doordash Kitchens, is permitted to have its own separate business profile. Only someone affiliated with the facility can claim and verify this profile.
Virtual food brands in local search. Yes, MrBeast Burgers, a virtual food brand, does indeed show up in Google local search results:
Why we care. So now Google is allowing virtual food brands to have listings in Google Business Profiles and thus Google Maps and local search results. If you have any clients that offer virtual food brands or you run your own, you can now technically show up in the local search results in Google Search and Google Maps. This is even when the address is technically not listed and there is no physical presence of that business outside of another business slapping on a new label on the product.