Restaurant Owner's TripAdvisor How-To Guide: Part 2
iCHEF Club connects F&B owners. Running an F&B outlet comes with a unique set of problems that only other people in the industry understand. We bring the community together by organising free monthly workshops on topics relevant to restaurant owners. At iCHEF Club workshops, restaurant owners learn ways to make their business better but more importantly, have the chance to meet and learn from one another.
In April, we asked ourselves this question: How do you expand your restaurant’s customer base without doing anything drastic? We might have found the answer – tourists!
Singapore sees over 15 million tourists each year (and that number is increasing). Imagine if just a fraction of them came to your restaurant…
So together with TripAdvisor, we organised a session to learn the secrets of attracting tourists to your restaurant. If you didn’t make it, don’t fear. Our team took notes, and here’s what we learned.
Attracting travellers to your restaurant
Even if your restaurant isn’t in the top 10 yet, there are things you can do on TripAdvisor today that will help you reach and entice travellers.
- Add info to show up in the right filtered search results (Cuisines & Dishes, Meals, Price, etc.) – gives travellers a higher chance of finding you when searching for something specific. Simply including your opening hours makes a difference: an average of 11 percent increase in engagement from potential patrons.
- Upload well-taken pictures. Just going from not showing any photos to having photos on TripAdvisor restaurant pages results in 73 % more engagement from travellers. Diners respond better to pictures of the food you serve than décor too.
- Ensure your restaurant is accurately pinned on the map. Location information helps travellers plan their trips better.
- Integrate TripAdvisor awards and reviews on your restaurant’s website. If you’ve got it, flaunt it! TripAdvisor awards the Certificate of Excellence for consistently getting outstanding reviews. There are widgets to display this accolade on your website.
- Display TripAdvisor stickers on your windows and doors
Utilise TripAdvisor Insights: a platform with guides on topics such as how to write a management response, best practices, marketing and so on.
How do I get customers to leave TripAdvisor reviews?
- QR codes on cards and coupons
- including a reminder to post a review on receipts, receipt holders, menus, table standees, reception standees or posters placed around the restaurant
- Review Express: If you offer free wifi, it can be configured such that your guest’s email is required for login. Permission to send an email reminding them to write a review will be included in the Terms & Conditions. Review Express can be accessed through Management Centre, where you can modify the email that customers will receive so that it suits your restaurant’s personality and use your logo. However, feedback from many restaurant owners proves that using a personal touch to encourage diners to post reviews is by far the most effective. A simple “If you enjoyed your meal, please leave a review for us on TripAdvisor” with a smile works best and requires hardly any extra effort.
How influential is TripAdvisor, really?
Quite, it turns out. TripAdvisor gets about 8.3 million pageviews for Singapore each month. If just 10% of those people are looking for places to eat in Singapore as well (which is pretty likely), over 800,000 people could be looking at your restaurant.
TripAdvisor licenses content to partners like hotel and restaurant booking sites, media websites, and etc, so reviews about your restaurant could appear when someone is searching for accommodation in Singapore, for instance. About 500 million people see TripAdvisor content on other sites every month.
TripAdvisor apps have a “Near Me Now” map that helps travellers to find nearby eateries and browse their reviews. With TripAdvisor’s 5 apps (TripAdvisor, City Guides, Jetsetter, Gate Guru and City Guru) being responsible for 50% of overall traffic, it’s nothing to sneeze at.
According to a TripAdvisor survey, 50% of travellers check reviews before choosing a restaurant; 20% actually read more than 11 reviews to before deciding on a restaurant!
Cheryl Tay is the editor and marketer at iCHEF Singapore. She also manages iCHEF Club, a growing community of F&B owners in Singapore – organising events, an online newsletter and the F&B Entrepreneur Bootcamp, the only regular workshop on opening a new restaurant in the country. In her spare time, she attempts to read every book that’s ever won a literary prize and watches cat videos. Like any proper Singaporean, her love for food runs deep – especially spicy food. Chili is life.