Script Features to Rule Online Restaurant Review Industry

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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.

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.

Revenue Generation Model

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:

Direct ads can be featured from clients in the restaurant industry.

Featured Listing:

A special sidebar in each city can list featured local restaurants. A monthly fee can be charged to list the restaurants in this section.

Discount Coupons:

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.

Top Industry Players

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:

  • Zomato
  • UrbanSpoon
  • LocalEats
  • OpenTable

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.

Radical Website 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:

Choose Location

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 feature

‘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

  • Restaurant, cuisine or feature.
  • City name.
  • Budget

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.

Search filters

Adding filters to the displayed search results can further simplify search for the users. The filter options can be:

  • Cuisine
  • Price
  • Neighborhood
  • Features
  • Sort By.
  • Zip Code

Users can filter restaurants according to their preferences by using this feature and narrow down their choices.

Restaurant Page Features

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:

Map integration

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.

Restaurant rating

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 photos

Restaurant pages must have a special section displaying restaurant pictures. This will give foodies a better idea of restaurant’s ambiance.

  • This feature is similar to hotel booking sites where pictures of the hotel are shown.
  • The UX of the image gallery must be kept simple.
  • Ensure high quality images

Restaurant Menu

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.

  • Just like image gallery, a special dedicated menu page or a menu drop down can be created.
  • Menu can also appear in image format along with popular dishes listed.
  • A search bar can be added to search for a specific dish.

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Review Section

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:

  • Top Reviews
  • Critic Reviews
  • Blog Posts
  • User Reviews
  • Food Guides by bloggers

Other Features on restaurant page:

  • Add to wish list option.
  • Favorite option
  • Contact restaurant button

Book a restaurant table

Your restaurant listing platform must offer an online booking facility from which users can book a table in a restaurant.

Restaurants near me

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.

City restaurant guides

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.

Top searches in your city

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.

Food Dictionary

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.

Mobile App

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.

Add a restaurant

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.

The Final Verdict

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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Disclaimer: The Blog has been created with consideration and care. We strive to ensure that all information is as complete, correct, comprehensible, accurate and up-to-date as possible. Despite our continuing efforts, we cannot guarantee that the information made available is complete, correct, accurate or up-to-date. We advise - the readers should not take decisions completely based on the information and views shared by FATbit on its blog, readers should do their own research to further assure themselves before taking any commercial decision. The 3rd party trademarks, logos and screenshots of the websites and mobile applications are property of their respective owners, we are not directly associated with most of them.

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