The restaurant game is one industry still dominated by small players. There’s something about visiting a cute, homely, family-run establishment that gets foodies everywhere excited.
As a restaurateur, it’s important to understand how modern-day diners are finding your restaurant. Overwhelmingly diners now look to the internet to get advice on where to dine. More specifically, they look at social sites – sites which allow anyone to rate and review an establishment, and publish ratings based on the reviews compiled.
So which sites should you be focusing on when it comes to your restaurant’s reputation? Here are six of the most important.
The biggest restaurant review site in the US is now making a name for itself in Australia. Success on Yelp is more reliant on the work that you put into the site than many are willing to admit. As a restaurateur, you’ll be charged with creating and managing your profile, and a complete profile is imperative if you want to come up as an answer to a search query. Over and above your profile efforts, your restaurant’s position will be based on the amount of reviews, the ratings of those reviews, paid promotion and key category attributes.
In this day and age if your business doesn’t have a Facebook page can it really be called a business? Facebook now has almost 2 billion monthly users, including overwhelming percentages of the developed world. You simply can’t ignore it as a marketing tool. Check out our 10 easy steps to improving your Facebook engagement for a detailed guide to squeezing the FB lemon dry.
Founded in 2010, this Indian start-up has made waves in many parts of the world, including Australia. Using the same basic system as Yelp, Zomato also enables its users to order take away and make a reservation, as well as review the meal afterwards.
TripAdvisor is a one-stop shop for travellers looking to check out the sights, the sounds and the tastes of a new area. You want your restaurant to be the first on any famished foreigner’s lips, so spending the hours to add contact details and completely fill out your listing is time well spent. It’s also wise to address any concerns that arise within reviews – just be sure to do so in a calm and respectful manner.
Just as every self-respecting business will now have a Facebook page, so too will it have a Google listing. This will allow your restaurant to be easily picked up by Google in response to a location-based search query. Google now offers a rating out of 5 for your establishment within the search result, so now everyone who searches restaurants in your area will get a sense of your quality at a glance, making it vital that you spend time massaging your online image.
While the ultra-minimalism of Instagram may not sing ‘marketing opportunity’ to you, if you know a few tricks of the trade you can make a great impact with minimum effort. Anyone who has scanned through a few photos will tell you that Instagram is an absolute minefield of food pics, so as a restaurateur you’re better placed than most to capitalise on the ravenous hordes of the platform. Getting a sense of the habits of successful Instagram brands is a great place to start.
A successful modern day restaurant requires a commitment of time to digital marketing; to sculpting the reputation of your establishment online. But rather than this being a full-time job, if you focus your efforts on the few sites listed above you’ll have a relatively complete handle on the standing of your restaurant on the World Wide Web.