TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel site, and it’s not just for reviewing big hotels. The site has 260 million unique monthly visitors, operates in 42 countries world wide, and if your local restaurant or cafe is not actively sourcing and managing public reviews on the site, you’re missing a huge opportunity. Travelers are now reviewing every part of their experience, from hotels, local attractions, car hire, and of course restaurants and bars, and this isn’t just for capital cities. Chances are many of your favourite local restaurants will be reviewed on the site (whether they like it or not!).
A quick search for my local suburb in Sydney’s lower north shore uncovered 468 restaurant reviews (with over 250 reviews coming from the number 1 restaurant, which clearly has a comprehensive social media strategy). In searching for this top restaurant on Google, the first five listings that came up were review sites with a combined total of nearly 900 reviews, and let me tell you from personal experience this place is continually booked out with people queuing outside from all over Sydney on a Friday and Saturday night.
Hopefully I have convinced you that listening actively on Trip Advisor and other such review sites like Urban Spoon, Eatability, etc is very important to maintaining the reputation of your establishment, no matter how big or small. If bad reviews go unanswered, the effects can easily lead to a loss of business, and in the same way, thanking those who have left a good review, should also be an important part of your customer strategy.
The article below from Social Media Today looks a little deeper beyond review sites into other social media channels restaurants should be actively using if you’d like to keep customers rolling through the doors.