The Importance of Online Restaurant Reviews

Black & white photo of someone taking a picture of their food at a restaurant. Title: "The Importance of Online Restaurant Reviews"

Last updated on December 19th, 2022 at 01:45 pm

Since the beginning of 2020, the restaurant industry has had to learn how to use technology to accelerate growth while increasing efficiency. Maybe you’ve invested in delivery apps, whether they be in-house or a third party service like DoorDash. Or perhaps the pandemic-fueled QR code menus have helped cut down on waste by allowing you to update your menu the moment an item is sold out. However you’ve adapted to this growing technological wave, there’s one tool every single restaurant should be taking advantage of: Google reviews.

Why are Online Restaurant Reviews Important?

Word of mouth is extremely effective among consumers. Just think back to when you wanted to try a new Thai place downtown or know if the newest Beyoncé album is good (trust me – it is.) Did you search for information online? There’s a good chance you did, as 95% of consumers read reviews before shopping.

But what do reviews mean in the culinary world? Quite a lot, actually! According to Upserve, 92% of consumers read online restaurant reviews. More shocking is roughly one third of consumers wouldn’t eat at a place with fewer than 4 stars. Online restaurant reviews require minimal effort but clearly make a big impact. So let’s get collecting!

Image highlighting the stat "33% of consumers wouldn't eat at a restaurant with fewer than 4 stars."

How to Start Collecting Reviews

Third party delivery apps will automatically ask for reviews on your behalf, which is a great start. The problem with that is that the reviews will only be seen by users of those apps. Luckily, all it takes is a few steps to get your review machine up and running!

  1. Create a business profile on Google: It’s free, simple to use, and you can highlight all the important information about your business. If you’ve been in business for a while, Google may have automatically created a listing of your business that you will need to claim.
  2. After you create or claim your listing, you will need to verify your business with Google. Google will give you several options for verification, including a call to the business line or a postcard sent to the restaurant’s address.
  3. Once you are an owner or manager of your Google business profile, you will receive notifications when a review is posted and have the ability to respond.
  4. Ask for reviews! Ask wherever your customers are – and make it easy. Share a link with your Facebook followers. Put a QR code on your menu or coasters. There are so many ways to be creative while asking for reviews!

Other popular review sites to explore are Yelp, Bing, and even Tripadvisor.

I Have a Bunch of Reviews, What Now?

The best way to solidify a good reputation for your brand is to monitor and respond to reviews, both good or bad. It’s always important to thank someone for taking the time to leave feedback. This is also your opportunity to resolve any issues in the negative reviews.

Responding to a Bad Online Review

Nobody’s perfect. Negative reviews are inevitable. What really matters is how you respond to the feedback both online and in your daily business. This is where you can regain the confidence of unhappy customers and show potential customers that you care about providing a good experience for everyone.

Following a few simple dos and don’ts is key to a successful response.


  • Respond quickly and respectfully. Letting a customer marinate in their bad feelings will only make them more resentful.
  • Apologize. Be empathetic and explain the steps you’ll take to remedy the situation.
  • Talk one-on-one. Call or email the customer. If they didn’t leave contact info, make sure you include yours in the response so the customer can reach out to you.


  • Retaliate. Trying to make the reviewer seem unreasonable or the person in the wrong is not a good look. Not only will you lose that customer, but other potential customers as well.
  • Use canned responses. Reusing the same responses will make you look like you don’t think of your customers as individuals with their own unique experience.

Read more of our tips for bouncing back from a bad online restaurant review.

Now you should be ready to start raising that reputation! And if you have just two minutes, maybe you can leave us a review too:

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