Consumer Search is Changing Online Restaurant Listings

A combination of the internet and smartphone technology has drastically changed how consumers shop, and how eaters dine. We have reviews available at the touch of a button, maps showing exactly what we’re looking for (restaurants, specialty retail stores, etc.), and the ability to preview menus before we even step foot inside a restaurant.

How Consumers Use Reviews

Constant Contact reported that 81% of consumers have searched for a restaurant on a mobile device in 2013, a number that has surely grown along with increased mobile technology usage.

To take a closer look at that number, 92% of consumers use a web browser to search for a restaurant online, while 81% use a mobile app; 75% of consumers say they choose a restaurant based upon search results.

With information at the consumer’s disposal, they’re selecting restaurants to dine in virtually everywhere they go, with detailed specifications.

Examples of Mobile Consumer Searches:

  • You’re traveling for business and have time before a meeting, so you use your smartphone to find an Italian restaurant with a happy hour nearby
  • Your significant other calls and asks if you want to go to dinner that evening, so you search restaurants from your desk at work
  • Vacation planning no longer includes a packing list and itinerary — you now perform an internet search to find some of the most recommended restaurants in the area where you’re staying
  • Planning ahead for the weekend, you search for a place that has great cocktails (at great prices) for a girls’ night out
  • In the midst of a six-hour road trip, you decide on a pit stop; you use your mobile phone to search for area restaurant recommendations

As a restaurant owner, you need to ensure that your online presence stands out by telling consumers why they should choose your restaurant. One of the best ways to do this is to ensure that your restaurant is listed on multiple restaurant listing sites.

Sites to List Your Restaurant

One option is to establish your restaurant on free review sites, such as Yelp,, Facebook, and Urbanspoon (now Zomato). Here patrons can find your listing and leave a review after dining with you, often sharing pictures of their experience. You want to treat these sites as you would your social media platforms by making sure your information is up-to-date and responding to reviews as they are posted.

Premium options, such as Groupon, Living Social and Valpak Business Profile Pages, allow for much more creative control with your listing. Premium listing sites allow you to provide an offer for consumers; consumers are using those sites because they’re looking for offers, businesses, and choices.

With the majority of restaurant searches taking place online, it is imperative that your online presence is accurate and up-to-date. Online directories listing a business’ address should be checked for accuracy.

Get Started Today

Perform an internet search for your restaurant and make note of the places it is listed, checking to ensure that the information listed is accurate. Have you claimed your business page on all of the free review sites? If not, get started today!