Today, user-generated content, particularly, online reviews are being increasingly treated as word-of-mouth recommendations or trustworthy testimonials. Restaurants must build their own website and provide a forum for customers to share their feedback.
Why Are Online Restaurant Reviews So Important?
Online reviews are a powerful form of social proof about your restaurant and its food. People are turning to online customer reviews rather than seeking restaurant recommendations from family members, friends, colleagues, or acquaintances.
66% Americans believe in an anonymous online review much more than they trust their ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend’s recommendation.
If your restaurant operates from different locations on a franchise basis, such online reviews will be of great help as customers can differentiate between locations. Small restaurant businesses can use these online reviews to boost their online reputation and also expand their customer base.
A good restaurant's online presence allows people to determine whether the restaurant matches their expectations in terms of cuisine, menu, prices, quality, and experience.
Gen Z and Millennials are 99% more likely to rely on social media and online reviews than Gen X and Boomers while choosing a restaurant.
Top Review Sites For Restaurants To Necessarily Be Present
Google My Business(GMB)
Google My Business is not just a popular review site for restaurants, but also a powerful tool to secure higher ranks in search results and enjoy greater online visibility. On their respective GMB profile, restaurateurs must fill out necessary details like operating hours, and location, add images, provide online ordering links, and so on.
63% of diners surf on Google and read reviews before they visit a restaurant.
So, having as many positive reviews as possible on Google will help a restaurant to boost sales. Restaurateurs must stay active online, read all customer reviews, reply to every comment and also address issues and complaints as they arise.
TripAdvisor is an online travel site featuring several kinds of businesses amidst which restaurants are a primary attraction. People who are traveling or are out of town check this platform for restaurant reviews while trying to identify good places to dine in.
If your restaurant has several recent and positive reviews, your business is likely to be featured top on lists like “Best restaurants in [Location]”. A restaurant profile on TripAdvisor can be enriched by adding photos and other basic information like operational hours, website, phone number, etc.
Yelp is a platform identical to TripAdvisor, the only difference being that Yelp is not just meant for travelers but for any person searching for a particular business in their location.
A one-star increase in Yelp rating can increase revenue by 9%.
On Yelp too, restaurateurs must fill out all profile details. Ensure that such vital information coincides with the details provided on other platforms. If there is any conflict in the information provided, it will affect the business adversely.
While Facebook is not the first and most preferred platform for restaurant reviews, it is still a very valuable place for gaining popularity through reviews. Every business hoping to gain new customers must open a Facebook page and also stay active on this social media platform.
72% of customers use Facebook for choosing a restaurant to eat at.
Restaurants must take concerted efforts to win positive reviews on Facebook. This will give page visitors a solid reason to dine in your restaurant. Restaurants must use Facebook for Business for setting up their restaurant page and also make it attractive by adding the location, images, a website link, and so on.
How have delivery apps changed the restaurant review game?
Food delivery apps also have their own restaurant review system in place. Earlier, people used to write their reviews only on Google or Yelp. But, after the pandemic, people are increasingly using delivery apps to order food. They also prefer leaving their food and restaurant reviews on such delivery apps.
Reviews submitted on delivery apps are based on attributes like delivery quality, speed, efficiency, and the accuracy of the customized order.
Delivery apps showcase the most popular menu items and highlight customer rankings encouraging potential customers to order items that previous customers have patronized and rated high.
With over 31 million active diners in 2022, Grubhub is undoubtedly one of the world’s leading food delivery platforms. This online and mobile app food delivery platform helps connect diners with nearby restaurants. Reviews mostly concentrate on the attribute of food delivery service. Business owners can reply to reviews within 14 days of the review published on the site.
DoorDash has an user base of 18 million and around 28% of them are considered monthly users. This app can be used to search for restaurants with the quickest delivery. Users are motivated to leave star ratings using which DoorDash takes an average and also displays within the restaurant’s listing.
Unlike other delivery apps, customer feedback submitted on DoorDash is private to the restaurant and not published along with the listing. Restaurant owners or managers can reply to reviews after which customers will receive an automated email containing the response.
The pandemic period saw UberEats reach a monthly user base of a whooping 78 million. The app’s interface displays top categories and the most popular restaurants in their area. The customer review and feedback process on UberEats is fairly simple and straightforward. After the delivery of the food, customers are encouraged to rate the restaurant and also leave a comment on the app if they wish to. These ratings are displayed next to the restaurant names. User comments are, however, not displayed for public display.
Thus, in today’s digital world, restaurant review sites are crucial in creating a favorable reputation for restaurants. Restaurantify can help restaurant owners use various digital marketing tools for increased sales and profits.