Social media has become a key marketing strategy for restaurants, with Instagram, Facebook, and review sites like Yelp being key players. Over 50% of diners visit a restaurant after seeing it on social media. It provides the visibility to attract new guests and the opportunity to engage with existing customers.
According to ReviewTrackers, Yelp is one of the top restaurant review sites, the go-to for diners looking for their next great place to enjoy a meal. While the site has numerous business categories, restaurants make up the businesses with the most reviews.
Are you curious about which restaurants are using this social network to the fullest? Recently, Yelp came out with the Most Photographed Restaurants of 2023. These photographs range from January 2022 to June 2023 and are limited to five per state for graphic diversity. Restaurants in Las Vegas received the most, with four making the list, while New York came in second with three.
Let’s explore the top five photographed restaurants in the U.S.
Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen
From TV shows to reputations, it’s not surprising that Hell’s Kitchen in Las Vegas made the top spot. The number one photographed dish is Beef Wellington. For those of you who have watched the show, you’ve probably seen many a Beef Wellington arrive up to the pass raw or well done. The pictures on Yelp show quite a different dish. The second and third items to make the top picture include Sticky Toffee and Lobster Risotto.
Las Vegas also made the second spot with Bacchanal Buffet. Crab Legs received the most photographed meal in this restaurant in Caesars Palace. Here’s where you should probably take a seat before reading on. In their 25,000 square feet, they offer over 250 menu items, have 10 kitchens, and nine chefs. While many of us have “Buffet” phobia, this restaurant takes it to the next level with creative dishes and unique presentations.
Girl & The Goat
This restaurant brand started in Chicago in 2010, adding a second location in 2021 in Los Angeles. It’s here the restaurant experienced the most pictures on Yelp, with Sticky Glazed Pork Shank the number one dish followed by its namesake, Goat Curry. It’s known for its bold, global flavors.
Mama’s Fish House
Mama’s Fish House on the North Shore of Maui is known for the freshest fish, with local fishermen bringing their catch to the restaurant, which is then served within 24 hours. Their menu even includes the name of the person who caught it or where the fish came from, from the deep-sea reefs near Molokai or off the coast of Kailua-Kona.
Surprisingly, it’s not one of the incredible seafood dishes that put them on Yelp’s most photographed list, but their dessert, the Polynesian Black Pearl. The stunning desert features a chocolate mousse with a lilikoi center topped with chocolate ganache tucked in a pastry seashell.
OLIO E PIÙ
This contemporary Italian trattoria in the heart of Greenwich Village came in number five, with their top photos including Tiramisu and Spaghetti Chitarra Alla Carbonara. Inspired by Neapolitan cuisine, the traditional wood-fired oven and the old-world charm take you to the Mediterranean. It’s an example of the authentic experience diners are looking for.
The Importance of Online Reviews
According to a survey conducted by TripAdvisor, 94% of U.S. diners’ decisions on where to eat are influenced by online reviews. Are you using these sites to their full potential? In Q2 2020, Yelp received over 214 million online reviews and ranks second, surpassed only by Google, in the number of people checking reviews before visiting a business.
So, how do you get more reviews on this essential marketing tool? First, make sure you’ve claimed or created your Yelp Business page and Business Owners Account. Include photos, menu listings, hours, and even videos. Share at least 10 of your best photos, including your unique atmosphere and, of course, your great food.
Now, you need reviews. One of Yelp’s primary guidelines is that you can’t ask for reviews. This rule is designed to ensure reviews are unbiased and based on the genuine opinions of guests. You can, however, create personalized content by filling out the “Meet the Owner/Manager” section as well as “Specialties” and “History.”
An essential part of expanding your reach and receiving more reviews is responding to every review. The response may be as simple as a “Thank You” to a professional and polite response in the event of a negative review.
Of course, this online review platform is just one drop in the mighty ocean of online marketing and social media. We’ll be touching base on some of the best practices in the many other platforms, helping you achieve a strong online presence that’s critical in today’s digital world.
At EMERGING, we work with restaurants and entertainment concepts, helping them reach their financial and business goals, expand their brand awareness, and adopt successful strategies for growth and expansion. To explore the possibilities or to schedule a consultation, contact EMERGING today.