The importance of online reputation management for restaurants

Nov 13, 2013


Vivential Value, a pioneer and leader in the study of online reputation and identity in the tourism industry, just released the Restaurant Online Reputation Index for the year 2013.
Not only are tourist destinations and hotels influenced by online reviews and customer ratings, but restaurants are also affected. This practice has become a decisive factor when it comes to a user choosing  a restaurant.

Since 2011, this consulting firm has engaged in research analyzing the online reputation of  restaurants in Spain. Entitled iRON Rest’11, the study raises the level of awareness relative to the state of the online reputation of the gastronomic industry, exposing a competitive edge among many players in the restaurant field.

The principal findings obtained from this study are:

  • Views expressed have increased incrementally evidenced by the 85% of growth experienced in comparison to findings gathered from: iRON Rest’12
  • Initial assessments indicated a concentration of 27% of all restaurants, obtaining 75% of user comments for the online portals analyzed.
  • 44% of restaurants do not have any user comments (high invisibility index) on analyzed portals.
  • 65% of  restaurants that have user comments have 10 or fewer opinions.
  • User opinions analyzed generally have a moderate satisfaction level. 48% of restaurants reported a “neutral impact”, 28% were “not satisfied”, and 24% were “highly satisfied”.

These findings allow us to infer the following:

1. It reaffirms the importance of online reputation management to develop competitive strategies in the gastronomic  industry.
2. A concentration of reviews are presented as a large competitive gap that needs to be addressed immediately.
3. Restaurants without user comments have no visibility and are likely to lose potential customers.
4. Not having enough user comments may lead to a high fluctuation of a restaurant’s online image and reputation.
5. A large percentage of moderate satisfaction ratings analyzed demonstrate restaurants are not making efforts to to capture user comments where a superlative level of satisfaction is achieved.

This study analyzed 1011.667 user comments, taking 20 Spanish provinces that are representative of the country’s tourist activity as a case study.
The methodology used to obtain the “Brand Experience 2.0″ index that combines expert analysis and capture and review large amounts of online data using specialized software.

“Online reputation management continues being an unused competitive lever for the Spanish restaurant industry.”, is one of the findings published on the iRON Rest’13 study.
It certainly would be interesting to apply this online reputation index for restaurants in other tourist destinations, such as the Caribbean or South America. This might motivate destination managers belonging to the restaurant field to introduce upgrades that would help to attract new clients complemented by our region’s rich and diverse cuisine.

Below we provide the study’s findings in full.

Índice de Reputación Online de Restaurantes 2013 from Vivential Value

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