How Do Restaurants Benefit From Online Reviews?

Restaurants and online reviews go hand-in-hand. Restaurants were one of the first industries to be hit with good — and bad — reviews when online reviews came to the forefront of online consumer feedback. Reviews for restaurants can mean open/empty tables or a line out the door — depending on how many reviews and the star ratings of those reviews. Restaurant review sites are especially important for newcomers to a city, looking for a restaurant to eat at.

Many of these hungry customers turn to reviews on Open Table, Yelp, Facebook or many of the other online review sites to learn about others’ experiences with a restaurant. In many cases, these consumers base their restaurant choices solely on the online reviews they find. To an owner of a restaurant, online reviews can’t be ignored, and a proactive approach is a must-have.

Yelp Restaurant Review
Yelp Restaurant Review

The benefits of getting online reviews are many. Not only do they help to build trust with potential customers, but positive reviews can also increase click-through rates.

Additionally, online reviews and ratings can even help a business rank higher in Google. Two studies by Moz and Local SEO Guide show that online reviews can help a website’s ranking in the Google Local 3-Pack and in organic local search results.

In our annual Local Consumer Review Surveywe discovered that:

  • 86% of consumers read online reviews when searching for local businesses
  • 64% of consumers have read reviews for restaurants and cafés
  • 80% of consumers real local businesses’ responses to reviews

Use Niche Review Sites to Boost Your Restaurant’s Online Reputation

In addition to getting your restaurant listed on popular online review sites, you should also get your eating establishment listed on restaurant review sites.

With restaurant review sites, you can focus on growing reviews on the sites that matter to search engines AND consumers. When customers are searching for a restaurant, they use these restaurant review sites to help make informed decisions. It’s important to appear on as many review sites as possible, as well as to monitor these to make sure you’re responding quickly to your diners.

Top Restaurant Review Sites

Online review sites for restaurants and cafes are extremely popular. Of course, consumers are discerning about where they eat. This means there are many household names featured in this list of restaurant review sites, including TripAdvisor, OpenTable and Eater.com.

Review SiteDACountryFree/Paid
TripAdvisor93ALLFree
OpenTable83ALLFree
Zomato82ALLFree
Zagat79USAFree
BeerAdvocate75ALLFree
RateBeer 73USAFree
HappyCow72ALLFree
BedandBreakfast.com66ALLFree
Restaurant.com65USAFree
Gayot64ALLFree
Delivery.com62USAFree
Menuism59USAFree
Food Pages.ca58CANFree
AGFG52AUSFree
MenuPix52USA, CANFree
LocalEats52USAFree
Find Me Gluten Free50ALLFree
Best Restaurants of Australia49AUSPaid
Beanhunter49ALLPaid
Foodio 5448USA, CANFree
DineHere.us48USAFree
Active Diner41USAFree
MenuClub.com41USAFree
Restaurants.co.uk34UKFree
Foodinc.ca31CANFree
Fyood23USA, CANFree
RestaVista23ALLFree
Find Around19USAFree
DineView18ALLFree
Brew Hopping18USAFree
Coffee Shop Search10USAFree

To see more niche industry review sites, read our full list.