Why Google Restaurant Reviews Are a ✨MUST✨

Erica YlimäkiErica Ylimäki
Last edited: February 1st, 2024

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google reviews are important for restaurants but can be a nightmare to handle for business owners

I know, I know. You’ve heard that Google restaurant reviews are important. And you’ve heard all the reasons behind it before.

If you’ve thought that implementing all the necessary steps to boost your online restaurant reviews and Google profile is hard, let me help you.

As you know, many potential customers reference Google restaurant reviews before choosing a dining destination.

So, let’s go over once more the basics of how online reviews impact purchase decisions, to understand the mechanisms.

Then, let’s move on to leveraging these mechanisms to boost your business listing and overall business.

Checklist for Improving Restaurant’s Local SEO

Checklist for Improving Restaurant’s Local SEO – 11 Things to Check

Before we do any optimizing, make sure that you’ve already done the following:

  1. Claimed your business on Google Maps
  2. Is the address right?
  3. Are your opening hours correct?
  4. Phone number added?
  5. Are the links working and correct? (Homepage, table reservation)
  6. Are there unanswered questions?
  7. Have you replied to all Google reviews?
  8. Add your social media pages
  9. Are your photos up-to-date?
  10. What about your menu, can one see that clearly?
  11. Are you an accessible business? Remember to add this information to your Google Maps profile!

Those are the most basic things you need to have on point. Don’t do anything else before you’ve ensured that all those points are covered.

Then let’s move on to understanding how potential customers find restaurants online and how they read reviews.

The Influence of Google Restaurant Reviews

I’ve written an article from a traveler’s point of view on finding places to eat.

The shortlist of aha moments included that I had exclusively visited places that had:
⭐️ 4,5 average star rating on Google Maps
💯 Around 1,000 online reviews
📸 Photos available on the reviews
👑 Great social media presence in terms of tagged content (not those shiny and edited marketing photos)

But that’s just my personal experience. Let’s look at how the general public acts.

Establishing Trust and Reputation

People use search engines to find new places.

By having Google reviews for your restaurant, you can make sure that you’re being considered even in the eyes of new people.

Google restaurant reviews play an integral role in establishing trust and enhancing the reputation of eateries. By responding to both positive and negative customer feedback, a restaurant exhibits its value for customer views.

To further boost confidence, it’s critical to provide accurate and comprehensive information about the restaurant, such as its menu, opening times, and how to get in touch. But you’ve already taken care of this if you followed the checklist above.

Guiding Customer Selections

How do Google restaurant reviews guide customer selections?

They offer precious insights into

  1. Food quality,
  2. Service efficacy, and
  3. The overall dining experience.

Research suggests that an impressive Google rating can substantially sway a potential client’s choice. Positive reviews detailing tasty fare and amiable service can entice people to try a new local business, while negative reviews spotlighting tardy service or subpar hygiene could result in people avoiding entering.

Google reviews equip customers with the knowledge they need to make considered decisions.

Drawbacks of Over-Relying on Google Restaurant Reviews

Narrow Information Scope

While Google boasts a wealth of restaurant reviews, it only serves as one information source.

As individual preferences vary vastly – one might enjoy spicy meals while another prefers a milder palette – it’s critical to scour multiple sources and consider a range of views when selecting a restaurant.

Furthermore, Google’s algorithm is biased towards places that have a high number of reviews on Google, and whose overall star-rating is high as well.

It might be that some gems aren’t found on Google Maps search, because they simply don’t have enough Google reviews.

Absence of Personalization in Custom Recommendations

Google restaurant reviews fall short of respecting individual preferences and dietary needs with custom recommendations.

Without personalization, users might reluctantly sift through a plethora of irrelevant posts, struggling to find what they need.

For example, vegetarians might have to navigate through countless meat dish reviews before finding plant-based options.

Possibility of Bias and Manipulation

Bias and manipulation susceptibility exist within all online review platforms, including Google restaurant reviews.

Instances of unjustifiably positive or negative feedback can distort the overall impression of a restaurant. For instance, a rival or dissatisfied employee might unfairly disparage a restaurant’s reputation. Conversely, restaurant owners might coax friends or relatives to write overly favorable reviews.

One can even buy fake Google reviews easily nowadays. Or create them with AI review generators.

I’d recommend staying away from these tactics, as hurt your reputation when you get caught.

Because you’ll 100% get caught.

Being aware of these potential biases allows users to navigate reviews judiciously.

Considering Multiple Relevant Restaurant Review Platforms

The Benefit of Multiple Review Sources for Restaurants

Harnessing various review platforms helps establishments garner a broader understanding of their public image.

Strategically utilizing multiple sources of reviews permits businesses to capture diverse feedback. In turn, they can pinpoint customer preferences and areas needing improvement.

For example, by assessing multiple platforms, restaurants might notice frequent complaints about sluggish service, thereby prompting system improvements. Leveraging multiple platforms fosters an all-inclusive view of customer sentiment, aiding in refining services.

More Review Sources = More Trustworthiness

In fact, it increases the credibility of your restaurant to have reviews on different review sites.

If Yelp, Google and Facebook reviews say the same thing, but by different people, you’ll for sure convince customers to try your food.

Think about it: Seeing reviews on multiple review sites is a surefire way to someone trust a business.

Even though it’s easy to buy fake Google reviews, it’s more difficult to buy reviews for all kinds of 3rd party review portals. Those are more likely authentic.

Okay, that was a lot of info. Let’s go on to how to collect Google restaurant reviews and how to use them.

Collect More Google Restaurant Reviews

There are many great ways to collect more reviews. Some can be used on the spot, and some require a little more effort.

But they’re all worth trying!

Asking for Google Reviews in Restaurant

The easiest ways include adding

  • Creating a QR code to review form and printing it on your receipt
  • QR code to menu
  • QR code to the front door, so it’s the last thing they see
  • QR code to the back of the staff’s shirt
reviews from a receipt with a qr code are a great tool for a restaurant

One tactic is also to just verbally ask to leave a review after they’ve paid, but this is pretty vague, as it requires remembering to take action.

However, there are a few other things you can do to get more reviews.

Reviews from Online Reservation Makers

When someone books a table online, you already have their contact information. Send them a personalized message including at least their first name and ask how their experience was.

This is a great opportunity to also learn about the ease of online booking, you ask for their feedback on how effortless it was to find a suitable table and time.

If you have a list of email addresses you could immediately send a review form to, feel free to try Trustmary.

You can get started by typing your Google Business location below, and we’ll get you started on getting reviews either directly to Google, or to Trustmary.

All you need to collect new Google reviews is the Google review link. No API keys or anything like that are needed.

Start Collecting Email Addresses

What about you organize a competition one can enter using their email address?

That is a way to start building a community you can send offer newsletters to. They’re also great for conducting customer feedback surveys. Or asking for more Google reviews.

You can even ask why someone hasn’t visited you in a while.

Best Ways to Use Google Reviews

Here are some great ideas on how to use reviews to boost your business.

  1. Share positive reviews on your social media pages
  2. Add Google reviews to your website to increase trust in visitors
  3. Ask for more Google restaurant reviews with previous examples
  4. Use in advertising (online and print!)
  5. Add to newsletters as content
  6. Showcase your Google review rating in your stand outside your restaurant

Google is one of the most popular search engine globally, so you really should focus on how you appear there.

In addition, always try to think about how you can take what’s said about you online to the real world – and vice versa. Social proof and word of mouth work the same way, but in the online world, your reach is much greater and in your own control.

Add All Reviews to Homepage

If you have your own website, the easiest way to boost your visibility and improve the whole site is to add social proof in form of reviews.

The easiest way to get started is use Trustmary to import all existing reviews from one or all sources:

After importing, you can create a branded review widget and add it to your website.

Summing up

Google restaurant reviews significantly influence dining decisions by presenting factual customer-reported data regarding restaurant quality.

These reviews delve into many aspects like food, service, and ambiance.

Users can even sort reviews based on specific criteria, and see ratings from different perspectives — be it locals or visitors.

Photos and previous customer comments further fortify the credibility of these reviews.

Learning to get more 5-star Google reviews organically is key to beating your competition.

FAQ

Can I delete Google Maps reviews?

If you’ve been hit by a bot that has given you a bad Google review, you should answer the review and address the issue in your response.

You can ask Google to remove the review altogether, but it’ll take some time.

Steps to remove a Google review are:

  1. Make sure you’re signed in to Google my Business profile
  2. Find the bad reviews on the Google reviews page
  3. Flag them as inappropriate
  4. Select a reason you flagged them
  5. Ask for a removal

What is the most important review site for restaurants?

Top 3 sites that usually matter for all restaurants include:

But there are plenty of other review sites out there as well. The key is to find out where potential customers try to look for restaurants to visit.



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