Posts Tagged ‘online restaurant reviews’

Do Online Restaurant Reviews Help or Hurt?

April 26, 2012

Online restaurant reviews have become a powerhouse that drives a restaurant’s reputation significantly these days. You have all the basics: Yelp, Citysearch, MerchantCircle, Zagat, TripAdvisor, Urbanspoon, Gavot, and more. What’s more, pretty much any online business directory also allows them now.

Even the search engines have decided to place a higher value on reviews and social proof than ever before. Google has even gotten on board with Google Places and Google Maps. Every time that you try to find a restaurant, Google Places lists the top 7 or so and how many reviews that they have and from where. Bing got on board and started linking to all of the third-party reviews that they could find, too. Yahoo! has offered local reviews for years.


Reviews Good or Bad

The truth of the matter is that some businesses will take any type of review that they can get, good or bad, because it will drive your organic search results up in the listings. Search engines like businesses with more reviews and consider them more important. If you take the time to enhance the listing with info, pictures, videos, hours, and more, that helps, too.


Should You Try to Get More Reviews?

Some say that the life of reviews may be short lived. Others place a lot of weight on this. The question is: What should you do? The reviews that you get on any website are important and usually have a following. It’s better to be proactive in getting reviews. You want to claim all business listings before anyone makes a review.

You also want to encourage your customers to fill out reviews online. Make it easy for them! You’ve heard the saying, “The squeaky wheel gets all of the attention.” Don’t forget to encourage your loyal customers that might not otherwise think to do this.


Are Online Restaurant Reviews Helping or Hurting?

January 10, 2012

Experts are saying that online restaurant reviews have taken the bite out of Zagat in less than six short years. Remember the days when a Zagat review was a vital part of the gourmands’ decisions in eating out? In the ‘80s and ‘90s, it was like the bible of gourmands and foodies. This has changed – not to mention that their choice to hide their ratings and reviews behind a paid subscription hurt its popularity since anyone can find restaurant reviews free of charge on the Web.

Mobile Apps and Online Restaurant Reviews

While Zagat’s subscriptions have plummeted, they are desperately trying to increase their profit by improving their importance to the foodie on the go. For just $9.99 a year, you can put the Zagat app on your phone and be on your way.

But why would consumers do this when the Yelp app is free?  With or without the review, it still proves useful with pertinent contact information and an easily accessible map of restaurant locations.

The Power of Yelp

Yelp has collected over 20 million reviews from amateur reviewers in less than 20 years. Can these amateur reviews really take the place of professional food critics? HBS professor Michael Luca says yes. After combining revenue data and Yelp stars, statistics show that going up one star in ratings can affect a restaurant’s profits by five to nine percent.

Restaurant Reputation Management

Needless to say, restaurant managers and owners aren’t quite as excited about the massive amounts of online restaurant reviews from Yelp. But there is a silver lining to this dilemma. Many restaurants are foregoing their traditional advertising methods for reputation maintenance.

What does reputation management involve? Mostly it involves an adherence to high standards and quality in food. This is a win-win situation. Of course, some may try to game the system with phony reviews and false rankings, but Yelp’s algorithm is designed to detect these phony online restaurant reviews.