For any business out there, the unfortunate reality of dealing with unsatisfied or grumpy customers is real. We are living in the age where anyone can be an online critic, and online reviews and electronic ratings have never been more critical. Until recently, the influx of online review sitse like Yelp and Toptable has made personal the dining experience more comfortable. As a restaurant owner, it’s essential to know that such reviews can either make or break you. According to a recent TripAdvisor survey, 94% of US diners purchasing decisions get influenced by online reviews. The numbers are also quite high globally with France, Spain and Italian customers coming in at 90, 91, and 93% respectively.
It means that such reviews are vital as they pose a great deal of influence when diners scout for places to eat out. Having positive online reviews can significantly turn around a restaurateur’s fortune by increasing patrons through publicity. Furthermore, it gives the owner a general feel of how their brand is being perceived, providing a leeway to immediately address challenges as they arise. In case you are wondering which review sites these are, here’s the deal.
Google My Business
It’s a no brainer that this is the number one site in terms of global internet traffic averaging 183 million visitors raking in approximately 5.6 billion searches per day. Listing your restaurant with this site is free. Once listed, the chances of your establishment appearing on relevant searches becomes immediately higher. For instance, when searching for “best pizza in Denver,” Google will churn out at least three related business listings at the top of the search engine page. Your position gets influenced by your restaurant’s quality and the number of reviews.
It doesn’t strike one as shocking since Facebook typically gets regarded among the top three social engagement sites globally. Going by its monthly visitor’s mark of 76 million, it only makes sense that your restaurant gets actively engaged in such a site. It’s essential to include it in your digital marketing strategy and make sure it gets updated on a regular basis with fresh digital content. The benefit that comes with such a site is that the owners can actively engage with their patrons in addition to advertising upcoming events and promotions through.
It usually appeals to those who seek travel-based experiences. It’s also known as a restaurant listing sites with the ability to search with keywords, such as “food and restaurant near me ” which drives traffic to their website. It provides restaurant rankings based on global review collected from travelers, and its ability to book online reservations. TripAdvisor allows one to customize their details such as photos, response to reviews among many other features.
Also known as the urban spoon, the site ranks at 1066 in terms of online engagement raking which has approximately 1.5 million visitors monthly. It’s among the leading restaurant and bar review sites pulling reviews from customers, critics, and food bloggers. On the site, one can get the restaurant page which highlights the photos, contact information, menus, and many more. It comes across as a vital tool in finding out what your patrons think.
It allows you to engage with your customers who give negative reviews. They have clauses such as “the customer is always right even when they are wrong.” They allow restaurant owners to take such negative feedback and use it to improve their businesses, whether you agree with such reviews or not.
The site has an average monthly traffic of 40.47 million. Yelp helps and trains users and small businesses alike to respond to online business reviews and host social events for Yelp reviewers. The site has become so synonymous with reviews so much that they hit the 100 million mark and the number is still counting. As one of the largest sites for online customer reviews, restaurants and other small business owners must start caring what reviews they elicit online from this site. It’s further worth noting that it would be hard for small businesses to get any attention if all that consumers sees is negativity surrounding their business’s Yelp customer review page.
Consumers who leave reviews to aid others in their purchase decisions are known as yelpers, and it’s essential as a restaurant owner to keep an eye on them. Such a platform points to the mushrooming importance placed in monitoring business reviews in managing an enterprise’s online reputation.
Better Business Bureau
The average monthly traffic stands at 6.15 million per month. The site aims at aiding people in locating recommended brands, businesses, and charities they can trust. Fraudulent or scammers don’t stand a chance on this platform. Companies listed in BBB have a short bio with a list of complaints as well as a rating system from A-F. For restaurant owners who are willing to put the reputation of their businesses in such a platform, it would be advisable to invest heavily in honesty and your capabilities. Most entities get matched against such values.
Apart from booking a table at a restaurant, it’s also an essential source of review for one’s restaurant. It’s available in every major city around the globe. It wouldn’t be prudent for a restaurant owner only to take advantage of the booking platform and not the reviews. Owned by Booking Holdings,it generates over a million reviews every month.
The local review site is a GrubHub brand that allows patrons to locate various restaurants by cuisine near a given address or by similar restaurants in a given area. Despite constantly updating its online menu, it also doubles up as a resource offering restaurant content such as ratings, contacts, menus, and reviews.
The website review got named after the famous French food critic. It makes use of a 20- point grading system for restaurants. It comes across as one of the most unique restaurant review sites, even though you can’t claim any listings. The site includes questions and answers with well-known restaurant owners, chefs, celebrities, and wine experts from around the world. Gayot comes in handy in helping your customers get the best restaurants to engage your taste buds, depending on the cuisine of their choosing.
In case you’re looking for food reviews across in virtually every state, then this is the place to be. The restaurant review site is predominantly US-based. The difference between Road food and other restaurant review websites is that it is specific. Unlike other review websites that offer generic reviews, Road food offers specific food reviews for each dish where patrons can view reviews and ratings for particular meals. Restaurant owners can find out what their patrons think about some of their various dishes and use such reviews and ratings to improve.
Founded in 1979, Zagat holds the legacy of being one of the first restaurant review websites that makes use of a rated number scale. The rated scale majorly covers four categories; food, service, cost, and decor. Previously owned by Google, it got sold to Infatuation. Nevertheless, it still holds its ground as being one of the most reputable rating sites and sources of reviews and recommendations.
Not being one to be left behind, Yahoo came up with its review site, Yahoo! Local, that aids people in finding local business and other services online. Yahoo! Local, is undoubtedly the easiest and smartest strategy to include in your online marketing strategy. One can get started with Yahoo! Local for free, and it’s easier to set up and manage your account. Recently, there have been developments where Yahoo! Local partnered with Yelp, meaning all reviews on Yahoo! Local gets replaced with those on Yelp.
It is one of the few review sites with a unique focus and houses the largest database of user-generated geo-location. It has a user-friendly interface that encourages users to leave single sentence reviews. What truly makes it stand out is its ability to provide business owners with robust or compelling data such as most recent and frequent visitors, new visitors, time of day, and gender affiliations for those concerned with consumer behaviour.
Small business owners looking to have an online presence can peg on Manta to give them much-needed exposure. Manta is a marketing software that boosts businesses by facilitating adverts on its homepage and updates your listing in its directory within 24 hours after signing up. Manta gives immediate alerts on customer reviews if you sign up as a premium customer, which allows you to manage your online reputation efficiently
Any business aims to increase profitability. You can do this by monitoring your online business reviews, promptly responding to queries, and trying to mitigate negative reviews to save face. Approximately 97% of consumers read responses to online reviews. How you respond to such reviews matters as it can either make or break your restaurant. So, the next time you think or giving your annoying patron a piece of your mind, take a seat back and look at the big picture.