Online restaurant marketplaces have become a rage amongst foodies and restaurant businesses all over the world. In a very short span of time, brands have emerged that answer every query about choosing a place to eat by providing menus, photos, maps, reviews, contact information and other restaurant details.
Powered by a simple business model, restaurant review platforms are changing how people find new places to eat and shortlist dining joints. This post is a feature-resource for entrepreneurs who want to start similar restaurant search websites. Read on and discover best features that can help make your online restaurant discovery and review platform popular.
Before moving ahead to that, let’s gain some understanding about business and revenue model of such websites.
Business and Revenue Model
Restaurant search and review platforms act as information providers by gathering detailed business insights about local restaurants. Active in a particular geographical area (mostly country), these websites share menus, business address, cuisine, maps, reviews, and other critical information.
Restaurant search and review marketplaces usually earn profits from advertisements. Due to large number of pages, the ad revenue from such platforms can be humongous if you have the traffic numbers. In addition to that, these websites can also:
- Jump into food ordering and delivery
- Offer restaurant marketing
- Feature restaurants on homepage and prominent inner pages
Now, let’s learn about the most popular restaurant listing platforms.
Notable Industry Players
Many platforms seem to have mastered the formula of making money by sharing restaurant insights. Here are the biggest names across the globe:
- FoodPanda (HelloFood)
- Just Eat
- Menu Group UK
While some of these are just about restaurant review and discovery, others are focusing more of ordering and delivery. Now let’s learn about the features that power such websites.
General Features for Frontend Interface
- City listings
- User-friendly interface for visitors
- Search on the basis of Location, Keywords, Budget, Cuisine, Bar, Ratings, and more.
- Reviews and Comments functionality
- Powerful filters
- Trending Restaurants
- Top Foodies listing
- Ranking and badges for reviewers
- Social media features like Follow and Like
- Interactive images slider for menus and images
- Restaurants image gallery
- Map integration
- Search functionality to locate nearby restaurants
- Social media login
- IA focused reviewer and user profiles
- Advertising options for restaurants willing to generate more visibility
- Restaurants Blog
- Analytics for restaurants
- Contact Us & Feedback Forms submission
Search is the core feature of any food joint search platform. Even a first-time user should be able to easily find restaurants in his city or location, read reviews, go through menus and decide whether it is worth a shot or not. Below are features that can make your marketplace amazing from search point of view:
- City based restaurant listing search
- Keyword based search with auto suggest feature
- Search for dishes being served across various restaurants
- Ratings based search
- Added filters
If you also want to launch restaurant review portal
- Google Map based restaurant search
- Option to search & view directory of Restaurants, Users, Groups, Sub-Zones and Landmarks in alphabetical order.
- Option to search & view Full Directory of Restaurants and pages
- Option to search & view list of restaurants in all available cities
Leading brands like Zomato and JustEat capitalize on these features to deliver better search experience.
Evolve unique features to help foodies select a restaurant. Following are some good features that should be a part of your restaurant search product:
- List of Top or Trending Restaurants list in your city
- View Menu, Pictures, Directions, Contact and other details.
- Representation of restaurant features via icons on the restaurants listing/search page such as No Home Delivery, Serves Non Veg, Dine In, Bar Available, Credit Cards Accepted & Menu Available etc.
- Option to view Total Reviews, Totals Favorites & Total Wishlists for restaurants
- Use the filter/feature to find restaurants which are open right now
Start Your Own Online Restaurant Review Portal
- Filters like Filter By (Popular Filters, Open At, In 4/5 Star Hotels, Bar Present), Popular Location, Popular Cuisines, Cost for Two, Pure Veg, Wi-Fi, Desserts and Bakes, Credit Cards, Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Buffet, Café, Happy Hours and much more.
- Food ordering functionality
- City-wise food recommendations
- Favorites/Wishlist functionality
- Restaurants events slide show on the top of Events Homepage
- Review functionality
- Option to allow users to post comments on restaurant’s reviews
- Option to Publish User Reviews
- Option to say Thank & Share feature for restaurants reviews
- View users Votes considered towards restaurant’s aggregate rating
- View Top Reviews, User’s Network & Other Reviews for restaurants
- Option to sort user reviews for restaurants by Date, Rating & Credibility
- Option to see restaurants more/other locations
- View Related Restaurants listing
- Restaurant profile management
Make way for people to plan events on their own, and also aid search for caterers. Informed decisions about menus, caterers, and cuisines should be easily made through the website. Below are the most impressive catering based features;
- Option to show all Creative Cuisines with Photos Gallery
- Provide Caterer listing
- Provide Caterer’s Address, Cuisines, Good For, Counters, Package, Photos along with Caterer’s details and Team Size & Experiences etc.
- Contact details and message functionality
My Account & Network Area
The marketplace must allow users to share opinions through reviews, and ratings by creating an effective user profile. Your platform must offer impressive user account & network area features. Below are few of them;
- Option to change/update user Profile details and Profile Picture
- Allow user to manage Account Settings regarding Lists, Reviews, Network, Email Notifications, Subscription Alerts & Occasional Email updates
- Option to Resend Account Verification email
- Option to connect through social profiles
- Allows users to Invite friends
- Allow users to add/mark restaurants to Favorites and Wishlist
Get such Marketplace Features at Lowest Development Cost
- Option to view My Reviews list
- Display Status, Total Reviews & Followers count
- Allow users to Send New Messages to followers
- Ability to view All Messages listing
- Get personalized recommendations through notifications by following foodies with similar taste and opinion
- Facilitates to check Ratings and Reviews of all restaurants in your city
- Option to create a To-do list of restaurants
- Option to view Featured Users Reviews
- Ability to follow other users’ Recommendations
- Follow updates from other users about their Favorite restaurants
- Option to add/update or set up your own Restaurant Business listing
- Add restaurants you want to visit to your Wishlist
- Option to create Foodies Network
- Allow users to follow Reviewers and their Friends
- Option to Share all your activity on Facebook
- Facilitates Number of reviews with star rating and Votes for the restaurants
- Top Foodies listing based on their ranking and reviews that they have submitted
- Option to view all Top Foodies in your city
- Display users Total Reviews, Total Followers, Total Favorites & Total Wishlist
- Option to view/check user Profile’s Highlights details like all Recent Reviews, Pinned Reviews, Photo Stream, Liked Photos, Most Viewed Restaurants and Recently Viewed Restaurants etc.
- Option to view Total Reviews listing/details written by users, and other friends & followers are allowed to say Thank, Post Comment and Share each reviews listing as well
- Ability to show users all Favorites regarding Total Favorites listing/details, Total Been There listing/details and Total Restaurants Rated listing/details by users
- Option to view/check Wishlist status regarding all restaurants added by users in their Wishlists
- Option to keep track users Network or Social Community with respect to all Followers & Following listing/details
- Facilitates users to keep track on all Recent Activities
- Option to showcase your Profile on your Blog
Social Network Features
Websites like Facebook and Twitter are the best mediums to share ideas and opinions. Integrate powerful social media features that help community in spreading the word, and achieve various other goals. Below are the best social features;
- Notifications about user reviews and ratings of favorite restaurants.
- Social invitations for friends to follow site activities
- Allow Facebook Comments for restaurants and promotion by sharing/liking the restaurants on Facebook and Twitter
- Provides an option to find or invite your friends for starting and building your foodie network
- Follow Top Foodies in the city and option to browse through the featured reviews and trending restaurants listed by your site.
- Create profile page that not only has your profile details but also showcases your reviews, favorites, wish list, follows, followed by and much more.
- The profile also displays the list of recently visited restaurants and most viewed restaurants by the foodie
- Option to share your foodie moments with friends, and also discover new restaurants through them
- Follow friends and send direct messages to them
- Provide an opportunity to the restaurant owners to talk to the foodies community
Mobile Apps Features
Make mobile app available on all the major mobile platforms. The mobile app needs to be simple with unique features. Below are few of them:
- Impressive User Interface
- Restaurant and recommendation
- Map search and location
- location based search
- Search for restaurants by name, cuisine or location
- Reviews functionality
- Image slideshow
Websites like Zomato, Hellofood and JustEat has aced the apps. In case you cannot go for the app in the very beginning, go for responsive website. Building on a clone script? Confirm these features.
If you have reached this far, then, you must be convinced that such platforms are no small websites. They have humongous database, SEO, social media, and user experience capabilities. So, it is obvious that an inexperienced team or freelancer cannot create the advanced restaurant marketplace clone for you.
In case you really want to build an effective restaurant review system, you need a team that can guarantee usability focus, design uniqueness, custom features, SEO benefits, and much more. You need the expertise of a team like FATbit team.
Speak with us in a FREE consultation session and we will tell you exactly how we will make your Restaurant review site smarter and better than others.