Updated: Feb 15, 2021
Your restaurant’s online reviews can make or break your business. Studies have shown that 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses before visiting, so it’s vital that your business is present on review websites and has great ratings.
Certain review sites like Google and Yelp tend to get more traffic than other, less popular restaurant review websites. We’ve compiled the most relevant and best review sites for restaurants, so you can monitor your restaurant’s online presence. Check out the most important restaurant review sites today!
TOP 11 RESTAURANT REVIEW SITES
Google My Business
Restaurant Delivery and Review Sites
Google My Business
Google My Business is easily the most highly trafficked and relevant review site that you should worry about. Google restaurant reviews appear when anyone searches for your restaurant or for general restaurants in your area, so it’s vital that you have good reviews.
If someone searches for your business and sees that the last few reviews were negative, it very likely may deter them from becoming a customer. Since Google is the largest search engine, with an estimated 5.8 billion searches daily, it’s important that your restaurant is listed on Google My Business, the information is correct, and the reviews are positive.
Getting listed on Google My Business is free, so every restaurant should make sure they are listed here. This makes it possible to appear in Google Maps searches for restaurants, and makes it easier for customers to find you.
Yelp is one of the best known review sites online, and it dominates the search rankings. It’s estimated that Yelp receives over 178 million unique monthly users each month, so there’s a huge potential for customers to find your restaurant business on this review website. About 20% of the reviews on Yelp are for restaurants.
When searching for the best restaurants in any given area, Yelp is typically one of the first results. That means it’s important that your business is listed on Yelp, and that the reviews are positive. If you claim your business listing on Yelp, you can respond to reviews either publicly or privately, which can help with customer engagement and can assuage those who gave bad reviews to reconsider.
Facebook is one of the largest and most trafficked websites, so it’s no surprise that Facebook reviews are important for restaurants. With almost 2.5 billion active monthly users, there’s a huge audience on Facebook that may leave a review or check out your restaurant’s reviews before visiting.
The good part about Facebook reviews is that it’s easy to engage with customers on the platform, so you can respond to reviews. Responding to negative reviews can help customers feel heard, and with great customer service it can turn a bad review into a good one.
Facebook is also a great website for a social media marketing strategy as well as social ads. Advertising on Facebook can help reach a huge, targeted audience with the right practices.
OpenTable is a great review site as well as an online reservation system for restaurants. This is one of the biggest websites for booking tables, so it’s important that your reviews are positive. If someone visits OpenTable to make a reservation at your restaurant and they see poor reviews, they can easily find a new restaurant on the site. There are over 50,000 restaurants on OpenTable.
OpenTable reports that they seat over 131 million diners monthly. It’s safe to say that many of those customers will probably check out the reviews before they make their booking, especially if the restaurant’s rating is negative or has a low star rating. Check up on your restaurant’s OpenTable listing to ensure that the reviews are positive!
TripAdvisor reviews all things travel-related, including restaurants worldwide. You don’t have to be coming from out of town to find yourself reading TripAdvisor reviews, however, and many people searching for “restaurants near me” will click on TripAdvisor and read reviews before choosing where to dine.
TripAdvisor also functions as a reservation booking website. You can claim ownership of your restaurant on TripAdvisor to edit the description, images, and respond to customer reviews.
Zagat is one of the oldest and most well known restaurant rating and review websites. Zagat reviews began in 1979 as a printed guide to restaurants. This site rates websites on a 30-point scale, so it’s less customer-based than the other review sites on this list.
Zagat was bought by Google in 2011, so Zagat reviews often appear on Google Business pages. This makes it even more important to check out Zagat and ensure that reviews and ratings are generally positive. Since Zagat is heavily integrated with Google, not only will reviews be more visible, but it may affect search rankings for your restaurant.
Zomato, formerly known as Urbanspoon, is another highly regarded and frequently visited review site for restaurants. It features over a million restaurants across various countries. This restaurant review site pulls reviews from food critics, bloggers, and everyday customers.
Restaurant owners can claim their business on this site. Once you claim your restaurant listing on Zomato, you can reply to customers who leave reviews, edit your business information, and advertise your listing to get more customers to visit. Customers can also make reservations through Zomato once they’ve found a restaurant.
Foursquare is a business review site and app that lists various businesses, including restaurants. Many users use Foursquare to discover restaurants and read reviews before visiting, or leave reviews afterwards.
Like most other review sites, you can claim your business and edit the information so that it is correct and up to date. While Foursquare doesn’t receive as much traffic as sites like Yelp or OpenTable, it’s still a formidable online presence, so it’s good to make sure your business is listed and has positive reviews.
Gayot, named after a famous French food critic, is another restaurant review publication that has been around for 50 years. This site publishes professional reviews from food critics, but it also allows customers to leave their own reviews. Gayot has a global following, so it’s helpful to have great reviews on this site.
Gayot uses a 20-point scale for rating restaurants, and judges not only food but service, ambiance, and other factors. You can’t claim your business listing on this site, but you can advertise on it.
The Infatuation publishes in-depth restaurant reviews. It does not allow all customers to leave a review on their site, but those who frequent this site take the reviews to heart. The Infatuation does not review restaurants in as broad of locations as other sites, so check first to see if your area and restaurant are even listed.
The Infatuation is owned by Zagat, so they display similar rankings and create restaurant guides.
Restaurant Delivery and Review Sites
Aside from standard restaurant review websites, many online delivery platforms also function as review sites. If your restaurant delivers through any third-party delivery apps or websites, you should check out the reviews on there. Poor reviews will stop many customers from ordering, which can seriously affect your delivery-based revenue.
Popular delivery services include GrubHub, UberEats, Seamless, Postmates, Doordash, and more. Each allows customers to leave reviews, so if your restaurant is listed on any or a few, be sure to check in on star ratings.
WHY RESTAURANT REVIEW SITES MATTER
Restaurant review sites are important because so many potential customers use them. There’s no avoiding online reviews, so it’s best to accept their influence and work to improve ratings and reviews.
One study by Harvard Business School found that even a one star increase in Yelp ratings could increase revenue by 5-9%, especially for independent restaurants as opposed to chains. This means that even if you aren’t particularly invested in your restaurant’s online reputation, it can seriously influence reservations, orders, and in turn profits.
Having your correct information listed on these sites is also important so that customers can find your restaurant and learn more about it. Correct business listings also influence search engine rankings, so this can also help your website’s SEO.
Reviews for your restaurant will be written and published online whether you like it or not. More often than not, the people who are most likely to review are the ones who had a bad experience. And even if you don’t claim your restaurant on these review sites, the information will be there for customers either way. It’s important that you check in on restaurant review sites to correct any business information and engage with customers to improve reviews.
MONITOR AND MANAGE RESTAURANT REVIEWS
Find out what review sites feature your restaurant, and claim the business if possible. Claiming your restaurant will make it easier to keep up with reviews, and it gives you the chance to respond to reviews. Responding will reinforce that you care about customers and can help you turn a bad review around by offering some incentive to come back.
Monitor your restaurant’s online presence to ensure that you’re not losing customers due to bad publicity. Learn more about restaurant marketing and reputation management by checking out our restaurant marketing plan!