Trip Advisor has become a key platform for restaurants as more and more customers have taken to leaving foodie reviews. However, while Trip Advisor is certainly an important hub for conversations about the best places to eat, drink and stay, it’s not the only online place where these chats are taking place.
We’ve identified 8 less known platforms that you should be monitoring where people might be talking about your restaurant.
- Image sharing social media
Platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat offer valuable opportunities to find out what people are saying about your restaurant – and to see the results of all your hard work. As food is such a visual industry, these image sharing sites are an effective channel for potential diners to see what’s on offer, which makes them a good resource for feedback and praise, despite their slightly smaller reach.
Urbanspoon currently ranks as the most popular food and restaurant review app in the AppStore, and this makes it a prime place to see what people are saying about your business. The app allows users to compare food choices in the local area by rating, distance, and cuisine, to look at menus and make bookings.
Foursquare has both a website and smart phone app and has been designed on a similar premise to Urbanspoon – offering local insights for drinking, dining and visiting. Although the primary function of Foursquare is to show users what’s on offer nearby, there are also review functions for restaurants, so this is a site worth keeping an eye on as it will show you what locals think of your establishment.
Although Fodors is primarily a travel guide site focused on helping customers to find inspiration to book holidays and short trips, restaurant reviews feature too. If you’re concerned about attracting passing trade from visitors and tourists exploring your location then it’s important to be aware of what sites like this are saying about your business.
- Open Table
This app (and website) is one you may have come across before as it connects customers and restaurants by allowing bookings to be made remotely. While the ability to make bookings is the primary focus of Open Table it has evolved into a site that also provides customers with the opportunity to read others’ reviews before booking. This makes it a platform worth keeping an eye on, especially if you are partnering with the site for bookings.
Restaurantica was launched in 2003 and is one of the less well-known restaurant information sites. However, it is growing, both in terms of size and geographical reach. The premise of being a ‘local restaurant directory and review community’ makes it a platform worth investigating, particularly given the options for interaction between customers and restaurants, which are designed to open up discussions and enable constructive feedback.
Dine.com provides consumers with 'Restaurant Reviews and Ratings written by You' and has a rating system where users can rank their dining experiences according to a series of stars. Feedback tends to be quite detailed, covering everything from the food and the menu options through to the ambiance so this is a useful site for feedback gathering.
- Foodie blogs
Food is a passion that you share with millions of other people and in this new social networking age blogging about fantastic dining experiences has become commonplace. Look out for blogs from foodies based in your area to see whether you’ve had a visit from someone who has then gone on to write about it. Given the number of public forums focused on restaurant reviews it’s important to have an active presence online – with as many of these platforms as possible. Don’t avoid joining because you’re concerned about reading a negative review as this isn’t necessarily the end of the world, provided you deal with it constructively. Read our negative review blog to find out more. Ultimately, whether the feedback you see is good, bad or out of this world, it’s crucial to know what people are saying about your restaurant.