Six ways your restaurant’s reputation is affecting your online orders

Restaurants’ Reputations Weigh Heavy on Online Ordering Conversions

Restaurateurs have long known that their businesses live and die on their reputations.

This is even more true in today’s highly connected digital world. As technology makes it easier for your customers to order online, it also makes it more important than ever to manage your restaurant’s reputation.

Here are Six Primary Reasons Why Restaurateurs Rely on Reputation

1. Most online purchases start at a search engine

Adweek says that over 80 percent of purchases made online start with a search on Google, Bing! or some other search engine. This is especially true for restaurants without apps for online ordering or those with web addresses (url) that are not 100-percent intuitive.

Keep in mind that when potential customers look for your website online, they will also see a lot of other web results for that search term, and remember, everybody gets a voice on the internet. It pays to ensure that what they’re saying about your restaurant is positive.

2. Ratings and reviews are often what people see about your restaurant first online

‘If you search via Google for your restaurant, it’s quite likely that restaurant review site listings for your establishment on Yelp, AllMenus or TripAdvisor will show up first or immediately after your site in the results. Your Google My Business page will also usually show up atop the list with reviewers’ ratings, as well. In short, reviews are often the first thing customers and potential customers see online when they search for your brand. Naturally, while positive reviews can bolster customers’ confidence about ordering from you, primarily negative reviews on search results may send them away, possibly for good and, even worst, possible to one of your competitors.

3. Good reviews are great advertising

According to Moz, two out of three people say online reviews influence their purchases. When potential customers see mostly positive reviews, it can be key in their decision to order from you online, instead of one of your competitors. This is called the social proof effect and it underlines the fact that when we don’t have a lot of context about the quality of something, others’ opinions of the product or service can greatly affect our purchasing behavior.

4. Review sites can drive new customers to your business.

Though many restaurateurs resent review sites since they feel they can be one-sided or unfair, the fact is that they exist and can be a great tool for helping people find your restaurant if the reviews are positive. Additionally, if you use the search term, “order online” on Yelp, you’ll receive a list of restaurants offering this feature. In fact, often the site will provide a direct link to your site for ordering online. Restaurants with better online reputations have a better chance of being found this way, as well.

5. Better reputation means better ranking on Google My Business.

The folks at Google report that the search engine gives better placement to businesses that respond to reviews. Lesson learned? If someone leaves a low score and a harsh review online, make every effort to respond quickly and calmly in order to not only repair that relationship, but also show customers you’re responsive to their feedback. The reward? You gain an improved search ranking, while potentially bringing a lost customer back.

6. Good reviews also enhance mobile search.

Numerous marketing studies have found that more than half of all search engine queries are now performed on mobile phones. So, for instance, if a customer searches for your category of restaurant and sees a list of local restaurants with their star-ratings directly under each name, it’s quite possible that someone who wasn’t planning to order from you actually will end up doing so if your rating is better than that of other restaurants in that category.


Regardless of how great the reasons are for active online reputation management, it still takes a lot of time and commitment to do it with the quality needed to present your business brand in the right light. You must be willing to monitor online comments and keep a cool head, even for the harshest critics. The pay-off can ultimately be very profitable for your brand when it comes to online ordering sales.

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