Running a restaurant? We know it’s a tough business. And it’s tougher now more than ever. Not only do you have to worry about delighting your diners and serving up yummy dishes; you also have to worry about the Internet, marketing your business online, and monitoring restaurant reviews.
(And yes, these reviews have a direct impact on the performance of your restaurant. According to a study released last year by two Berkeley economists, a half-star improvement in aggregated online reviews and ratings makes a restaurant 30 to 49 percent more likely to be fully booked during peak dining times.)
So what’s a restaurateur to do?
(Check out: “Food and Restaurant Review Sites You Should Know About”)
Well, there’s a wide range of restaurant marketing tips we’d offer, but right now we’d like to focus on one site (or platform) that you can leverage to enhance your restaurant’s reputation and drum up new business. We’re talking about OpenTable.
Founded in 1998, OpenTable is a leading online restaurant reservations platform and restaurant reviews aggregator. It has seated more than 450 million diners around the world and generated more than 15 million restaurant reviews.
OpenTable isn’t just for diners looking for tables, though. The site’s member restaurants also have access to OpenTable’s comprehensive restaurant reservations management software. The reservations are free for diners, but restaurants pay a minimal fee for reservations that go through OpenTable.
Anyway, we here at Review Trackers believe apart from usual suspects like Yelp, Google+ Local, TripAdvisor, and Foursquare, restaurant owners/managers should also claim their business on this restaurant reservation and reviews platform. Why? Check out some of the ways that OpenTable can help the performance of your restaurant:
You can reach more diners. OpenTable has a steadily growing number of users, which means that – through the platform – you can potentially seat more diners, increase your profits, take more reservations, and turn casual customers into regulars. It’s also a way of gaining crucial competitive advantage over competitors who are not one of the 28,000 OpenTable member restaurants all over the world.
You can enable instant reservations. Still taking reservations by phone? Still making a lot of booking mistakes? Well, it’s time to step into the 21st century. OpenTable has a widely acclaimed, easy-to-use restaurant reservations platform that allows you to minimize restaurant nightmares like over-booking and under-booking. Even better news? The no-show rate for OpenTable reservations is only 5 percent much lower than the industry standard.
It’s another way to post your online menu. It’s so important for a restaurant to establish online presence, and one of the best ways to do so is by posting menus and price lists online. This is something you can do when you join OpenTable: your menu is published in your listing (along with aggregated restaurant reviews and ratings) in such a way that you can showcase all the tasty dishes you have on offer for potential diners.
It’s another way to generate more reviews. Your food tastes great, but you won’t be able to capitalize on it unless people are actually talking about it online. With OpenTable, you can generate and track restaurant reviews that you may not otherwise get. It goes without saying that more reviews also means more opportunities to gain insights on what your diners and customers are saying. And don’t worry about the trustworthiness and authenticity of these reviews: as you’ll find out from the OpenTable Reviews Program, only verified diners who honored their OpenTable reservation can write a review of your restaurant or local business.
You can reach the mobile market. OpenTable is integrated with a bunch of other online platforms, services, and apps – including mobile ones. In fact, it works with hundreds of distribution partners, including Google, Facebook, MenuPages, TripAdvisor, FoodSpotting, Yahoo!, Yelp, and Zagat. (It’s on the Web, Apple iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and even Kindle Fire.) OpenTable can also mobilize your website for free – so that you can upgrade your restaurant’s site and make it more attractive to hungry potential customers who are looking for places to eat using their smartphones and mobile devices.
Is your restaurant on OpenTable? If yes, let us know in the comment section below what you think of the popular reservation service and restaurant reviews aggregator. For more information on becoming listed on OpenTable, visit their restaurant management software page.