If you own a restaurant in the Boston area, you’ve certainly got a lot of tasty competition. With fresh local favorites like succulent lobster rolls, crispy, flaky fish and chips, and hot, satisfying clam chowder, there’s nothing quite like Boston cuisine. You may see plenty of hungry customers come and go from your restaurant. They compliment the food and tip their server appropriately, but do you wonder what they tell their friends once they’ve left?
In today’s digital age, anyone can be a critic for almost any product. Toys, electronics, clothes, salons, restaurants - you name it. There are plenty of places for happy (or unhappy) customers to leave reviews. With so many different sites, how can you effectively monitor what your customers think of the dining experience you are offering?
Allow us to assist. In this post we will highlight the top 10 most popular restaurant review sites in 2019, to help you keep an eye on your star counts.
If you want to organically grow your Boston restaurant business, it’s not enough to just acknowledge that review sites exist and keep an eye on your star rating. You need to meet your customers where they are. That means building a profile for your restaurant on each site and keeping them updated.
The ten restaurant review sites most likely used by your customers in 2019 are as follows:
- Google My Business
Google is often the first place a customer will go when they’re looking for information on your restaurant. Listing your restaurant on Google My Business is completely free, and keeping your profile updated improves your chances of appearing in search results.
Facebook is a great tool for personally engaging your customers. It also provides helpful tools and can help you promote your restaurant to Bostonians and tourists alike. If you don’t already have a Facebook Business page, you’re missing out on some great opportunities!
Yelp is an extremely popular site for restaurant reviews especially. Local Boston diners or tourists may consult Yelp when they’re looking to try something new, so it’s very important that you keep the listing updated with your latest menus and kitchen hours.
TripAdvisor is frequently used by tourists who are planning a great vacation. Help your restaurant appear when tourists search for “food near me” by keeping your profile updated and encouraging happy diners to leave five-star reviews.
Zomato (a.k.a. UrbanSpoon) welcomes nearly 1.5 million site visitors each month. It’s a great restaurant guide website that pulls reviews from many sources, including food critics, bloggers, and customers.
OpenTable is a popular site for making reservations but can also be used to leave reviews. Encourage your customers who made a reservation through this site to leave a five-star review!
Zagat is a great resource for diners to find top restaurant guides, reviews, menus, and make reservations. This site attracts around 500,000 visitors per month.
- The Infatuation
The Infatuation is a subsidiary of Zagat and offers similar resources for the younger generation of flavor-seekers. The resources included on this site are all produced by a small group of writers and editors.
Foursquare was originally created as a location-based app where users could “check in” when visiting their favorite local business or restaurant. It now serves a function like Yelp, where potential customers can leave or read reviews.
Gayot is powered by a team of restaurant critics and food experts. While it is not a place where your customers can leave feedback, it is recognized as a reliable source for potential customers to find reviews.
We could fill an entire post with reasons why customer reviews are important for the success of your restaurant business, but we’ll save that post for another day. Instead, check out these four statistics compiled by GatherUp.
- 2% of people read online reviews when choosing a restaurant.
- 73% of customers value written reviews over overall star ratings.
- 51% of restaurant customers said that service was the biggest reason they would write a bad review, with food quality or taste a distant second at 31.6%.
- Reviews account for 15.44% of how Google ranks a local business.
Encouraging customers to leave reviews can of course help your ratings, but it also shows the customer that you value their opinion and feedback. It’s important to monitor and respond to reviews because it will show current and potential customers that you’re not just trying to rank higher on search engines. You also genuinely care about delivering the best dining experience possible for your customers.
Speaking of delivering great dining experiences, how’s your restaurant point of sale system holding up? Do your servers struggle with a complicated order entry interface or have trouble splitting checks? Mistakes caused by a complicated POS system can negatively impact your guests’ dining experience and effect the reviews they decide to write.
Electronic Merchant Systems offers Total Touch®, a powerful, easy-to-use point of sale software designed to help you increase sales and effectively manage your restaurant. Some of the top features available with Total Touch include:
- Open Table Management – manage tables, servers, and improve guest experience.
- Simple, Easy-to-use Interface – keep your staff focused on customers and not fighting with a complicated system.
- Gift Cards and Loyalty Programs – integrated features to reward customers and keep them coming back.
- Online and Mobile Ordering – increase sales and reduce order errors.
- Pre-authorize Bar Tabs – ensure bartenders charge the customer correctly to keep profits healthy.
- Kitchen Display System – support for KDS and expo kitchen printing.
- Payment Options – options for customer-first service, such as splitting checks by seat.
- Employee Management – manage employee permissions, schedule staff, and track time from any terminal.
Contact us today to learn more about improving experiences with Total Touch!