Funny, but true story..
A new Italian restaurant opened up near us, and one Saturday night we decided to call and make a reservation.
When we arrived, both owners greeted us, and there was maybe 10 other diners...not surprising for a brand new restaurant that had not promoted itself.
One of the owners told us we were the first telephone call they'd had....they'd been open for around 3 weeks.
We were a bit surprised, and asked him if people just turn up without booking.
Turns out that he had an argument with Google over getting the phone connected.
He didn't want a phone as he firmly believed that "everyone" uses emails and people would simply email them for bookings, which we thought was a little naive. But Google wanted to list him in the Local Search but could not do this without a phone number.
Personally I never email restaurants as many do not email you back..plus there is something nice about speaking to a human when it comes to fine food!
Anyhow, the Google Local Search team finally persuaded him to connect the phone. 10 minutes after he'd given them the new number for publishing on Local Search, we called to book.....thus proving Google right!
The owner thought it was Google or the "phone man" checking the connection...he was a bit shocked we were real customers, and the number had only been on Google for 10 minutes!
He asked how we found the number, and of course "we Googled".
I was impressed that Google actually pursued him to do this, when you hear stories of how some businesses have to almost beg the mighty Google.
But when you think about it, Google wants to stay #1, and local search is very important. It would not be a good look for Google if they didn't have the hottest new restaurant on their search platform.
It was a very interesting, and amusing story. And their food is fabulous...and we usually call to book.
But I think it was a good lesson for the owner too, to realise everybody is different. If we couldn't find their number on Google, we most likely would have assumed they were closed and forgotten all about them.