Deciding which restaurant to visit for lunch or dinner can surely leave you baffled. Helping you out with the problem of plenty are the growing restaurant listing portals which categorize restaurants in a particular city based on visitor reviews and factors like budget, location, menu etc. Restaurant listing portals like Urbanspoon (acquired by Zomato), LocalEats and OpenTable host complete restaurant guides along with pictures and restaurant menus.
To help entrepreneurs get a good idea about the restaurant listing sites, researchers at FATbit Technologies analyzed the business model, revenue generation methods, and website features of such platforms and listed them in one blog post.
But before moving to website features, let’s understand how these platforms help make money through the business model.
The business model of a restaurant listing platform revolves around listing small as well as popular restaurants in the major cities of your chosen region. Every eating joint gets a dedicated page which contains price details, menu, restaurant pictures, customer reviews, contact information with map representation etc.
Such sites get organic as well as good share of returning traffic as they are sources where you get all information about the restaurant. Facilitate table bookings at major restaurants through partnerships to get more business mileage. Let’s now understand the revenue generation aspects of such review focused websites.
Restaurant review sites earn good amount of money. If you plan to launch your own restaurant listing portal, then, clone following revenue generation methods:
Direct ads can be featured from clients in the restaurant industry.
A special sidebar in each city can list featured local restaurants. A monthly fee can be charged to list the restaurants in this section.
If you want to make your site exclusive, discount coupons can be integrated into it. These coupons can be given free of cost to users in order to get traffic on the website or can even be sold for a nominal price.
Many restaurant listing portals have come in the last couple of years across the globe. Here are the ones that have become the biggest names:
Now that you are aware about the most dominant web personalities in restaurant listing and review industry, let’s get familiar with critical site features.
To generate returning traffic to your restaurant search and review site, focus on creating user-friendly features that really enhance visitor experience. Let’s discuss the features which are must-have for a restaurant listing and review platform:
Because you wouldn’t be catering to just one city, you need location filtering feature. Giving the option to choose a location to users at the very beginning will tailor the complete experience. List all the cities in a neat manner. To make it more interactive, a map-related feature can also be used.
‘Search a restaurant’ feature is important because you are building a restaurant discovery platform. Obviously your website cannot do without this feature. The search bar can be divided into multiple segments, namely
The search functionality must work by taking all the inputs into consideration. Spend time in creating a unique restaurant search process if you are not building on a clone script.
Adding filters to the displayed search results can further simplify search for the users. The filter options can be:
Users can filter restaurants according to their preferences by using this feature and narrow down their choices.
Dedicate a special page to every restaurant. Restaurant details like price, reviews, and pictures must be added to this page. Here are some excellent features that can be included to your restaurant page:
The listed restaurants can be shown in an orderly manner on a map to get the exact location of the restaurant. This is an excellent feature, and even critical for a restaurant review site. We highly recommend map integration for your restaurant listing clone to make it big.
The like-dislike feature is quite useful for users as they can select a restaurant with high percentage of likes. For your restaurant listing clone, the calculated percentage can be showed in the form of stars, thumbs up, or through any other unique shape.
Restaurant pages must have a special section displaying restaurant pictures. This will give foodies a better idea of restaurant’s ambiance.
Restaurant menu is a must on the restaurant page. This is a user friendly feature as people often want to see the menu before going to a restaurant.
Review section on the restaurant page is the most crucial section as people read reviews about a restaurant before visiting it. Your restaurant review section can include:
Your restaurant listing platform must offer an online booking facility from which users can book a table in a restaurant.
A restaurant listing site must allow a user to search for restaurants near his location. This feature can work in regard to the location of the restaurant.
List restaurant guides that provide a collection of restaurants in a particular city. Restaurant guides for cities are a good way to add zing to your restaurant review site.
Your site must list the top searched keywords by people to find a restaurant in their city. The feature is a good way to create interest among people who want to know what others are searching for.
You might have come across a term or a dish that you have no idea about. This happens with everyone at one point or other. To deal with such a situation and to help users understand dishes better, make a special food dictionary that list all dishes, food items and other eatables related to food and restaurants in an alphabetical order.
In an era where mobile users have overtaken desktop users, a mobile app is a must. Make way for a mobile app for Android devices as well as iOS devices. In case you don’t have the budget of a mobile app, then, go for a responsive site. In case choosing a clone script, confirm responsiveness beforehand.
Since you are launching a restaurant listing marketplace, get the feature to add new restaurants. A detailed information form can be planned where users can add all the crucial information about the restaurant. This will entice new restaurant owners in listing their premises on your portal to generate business.
Online restaurant discovery, food ordering, and delivery related platforms are in great demand, and certainly have a promising future. But a lot depends on website features, UX design, and marketing.
Whether you choose to build your restaurant listing clone on a script or hire a team of developers to create it from scratch, make sure you add above-listed features.
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