Consumer survey reveals power of online review sites

By Ellie Bothwell contact

- Last updated on GMT

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Almost two-thirds of diners usually search for online reviews before they eat out
Almost two-thirds of diners usually search for online reviews before they eat out
The majority of consumers search for online reviews of pubs and restaurants before they choose where to eat, according to a new survey.

Almost two thirds of diners said they search for online reviews 50-70% of the time before they eat out, with 18-30 year-olds and those in the 60+ age bracket using the sites the most.

Furthermore 94% of those surveyed by HospitalityGEM said they were most likely to look for an online review of a restaurant or pub for dinner – the meal with the greatest potential spend.

Earlier this month a government watchdog launched an inquiry into the use of review websites as a result of concerns regarding their trustworthiness and impartiality.

Steven Pike, managing director of HospitalityGEM, said he welcomed the move.

“The power of word of mouth is now more important than ever and anything we can do to enhance trust in these sites and encourage constructive conversations between operators and their guests will benefit the industry as a whole,” he said.

“In many cases, they also help to generate balanced content for public sites. And this is one part of the solution to combat malicious or unfair reviews. The more the business engages with its guests, the more chatter there will be. And, providing this is overwhelmingly balanced, any unfair reviews will be drowned out – in any case, it will be clear if something does not fit with the regular pattern of feedback for the venue.”

Related topics: Marketing

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