Everybody is a critic and if you are a restaurant owner, you have a target on your business. Restaurant review sites are growing and there is more than just Yelp to consider.
Each day can be spent chasing comments on the Internet to protect your restaurant reputation. While this article is not about restaurant reputation management, the long list below may make you nervous enough to look for a solution.
Reminder: When someone makes a comment online, you will not feel it or hear about it anymore than you would in the old days when people would talk. The difference is in the permanance of the comment and the whole world is watching and listening.
Turn the comments and restaurant reviews online into a restaurant marketing opportunity. Instead of waiting for something to happen and wonder "Will it be ok?", be pro-active and influence your destiny.
Your next step might be to set up a special page for your restaurant. Buy a domain name at 1and1.com and call it:
For instance: www.saltysreview.com or www.bennigansreview.com. You get the idea. Your domain name or restaurant name with "review" at the end.
You can send every guest to that website url domain name via the menu, personal invitation, email follow-up, Facebook, etc. Have available a list of links they can click on to share a comment.
The website domain name (www.yourrestaurantnamereview.com) can be pointed to a special page on your restaurant's website if you like.
Instead of sending them direct to a very long link on your site, buying a domain name with "review" in it and pointing it would be a better bet.
Need help? Contact me. I will help you set up a page where you can invite people to give positive comments. The website or page will simply be a portal to those restaurant review sites you would like them to comment on.
Don’t put every restaurant review site on the list. Just pick and choose your favorites. This website page will be very personal and can include photos or video and a special thank you. (Don't forget to make an invite.)
The reason people are using Yelp is because they know about it. If you set up your own page with great options and encourage them to review your restaurant, you will leave breadcrumbs online for others to follow for years to come. Of course, be sure to ask those who are very happy with your service to share their experience.
Here is a list of restaurant review sites in alphabetical order (with links). It is my gift to you.
10 Best http://10best.com
All Menus http://allmenus.com
AZ Central http://azcentral.com
Bacon and Bakin http://baconandbakin.blogspot.com
Beer Advocate http://beeradvocate.com
Brian X http://brianx.com
Chicago Reader http://chicagoreader.com
City Guide MSN http://cityguides.msn.com
Dex Knows http://dexknows.com
Ding Out with Rob Balon http://www.diningoutwithrobbalon.com
Foodie Universe http://foodieuniverse.blogspot.com
Fork and Bottle http://www.forkandbottle.com/restaurants/seattle/seattle.htm
Go City Kids – Parents Connect http://gocitykids.parentsconnect.com
Google Maps http://maps.google.com/
Grub Hub http://grubhub.com
Half Baked Seattle http://www.halfbakedinseattle.com
Happy Cow http://happycow.net
Insider Pages http://www.insiderpages.com
Judy’s Book http://www.judysbook.com
Menu Pages http://www.menupages.com
Merchant Circle http://www.merchantcircle.com
Mojo Pages http://mojopages.com
NY Mag http://nymag.com
Open Table http://reviews.OpenTable.com
Reviews MetroGuide http://reviews.metroguide.com
Seattle Dining http://www.seattle.com/restaurants
Seattle Foodster http://www.seattlefoodster.com
Seattle Mag http://www.seattlemag.com
Seattle Times Restaurant Reviews http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/restaurants
Seattle Weekly http://www.seattleweekly.com/restaurants
Top Table http://www.toptable.co.uk
Top Restaurants http://www.toprestaurants.com/seattle.htm
Trusted Places http://trustedplaces.com
Urban Spoon http://www.urbanspoon.com
Worst Pizza http://www.worstpizza.com
Yummy Eats http://yummyeats.com
This is not the complete list. There are more In your local community. Do a little research or hire someone to find the opportunities and set up your online presence.
A year from now there will be two restaurants online side by side. One has dozens of reviews and the other will only have a few. The first was pro-active and the other waits.
A group of hungry humans will be viewing the reviews on their mobile device wondering "Which to choose?" Which will they respond to? Which is yours?
Focus on each guest, treat them as if they were your friend, family or royalty. They will do the rest by sharing their experience on restaurant review sites.