5 Tips to Get More Google Restaurant Reviews & Positive Ratings

Imagine having the power to help people find your restaurant's glowing reviews.


That's the magic of Google restaurant reviews!


In this guide, we'll share tried and true tips about how to get more Google restaurant reviews. Because once you do that, you'll start to boost your online reputation and drive more sales!


(If your Google reviews aren't showing up, that's another issue you'll need to take care of!)


Short summary

  • Boost your restaurant's online presence and customer engagement with Google reviews.

  • Create more opportunities that encourage customers to leave you online reviews.

  • Respond to all Google reviews, the good and the bad. It's essential for building a strong reputation and demonstrating commitment to customer satisfaction.

Google Restaurant Reviews Matter: Here's the Impact They Have on Your Business

Restaurant Google reviews are key for businesses to rank higher on search engines. The more reviews a restaurant has, the most credible they seem.


Think of the last time you went out to eat. Did you check the restaurant's star ratings and Google reviews? Exactly.


In the same way positive reviews drive foot traffic and sales, negative reviews can do the opposite.

Restaurant owners can't underestimate the significance of Google reviews. In fact, you need to take proactive steps to act on the customer feedback you get.


That's why you're here after all! So let's dive into the benefits of getting more Google restaurant reviews.


Increasing Local Rankings and Map Pack Visibility

One of the benefits of positive Google reviews is that your restaurant gets more eyes on it. Google looks at reviews, their sentiment, and star ratings to determine where you rank!


Look familiar?

Example of Toronto ramen restaurants appearing in the Google local map pack.

All these restaurants share this in common: they have 

There's a good chance people don't keep looking for other restaurants once they've seen the top 3, 4, or 5.


So, encouraging customers to leave positive reviews can make it easier to find you.


Managing Reputation Through Google Reviews

Managing your restaurant's online reputation through Google reviews is vital for business growth. When you respond to every review, customers see that you appreciate their feedback.


This transparent approach to feedback builds trust and helps them become repeat customers. Managing your restaurant's online reviews also lets you know where your business can improve.


NiceJob's reputation marketing platform has Insights that provide a:

  • Sentiment analysis of your reviews so you can see which positive or negative topics people mention the most

  • Team leaderboard so you can see who on your team is generating the most reviews and receiving the most positive ones.

Preview of the positive and negative topics report in the NiceJob app."The customer is always right" is a popular cliché for a reason. Allowing their feedback to make your business better will help ensure your restaurant stands out in a competitive industry.


Driving Website Traffic and Sales

Positive Google reviews can increase your restaurant's website traffic and sales. Customers feel more confident to visit your restaurant after they'v read glowing reviews.


But not everyone is ready to make a decision right away. Sometimes people need to do more search, which is why having an awesome website is key.


A high-converting and optimized website will answer potential customers' questions. It'll also give them clear calls to action like "Order now" and "Reserve online".


Plus, when someone lands on your website, you can ask for their contact information for future SMS and email marketing campaigns.


Powering Your Reputation Marketing Engine

Leveraging Google restaurant reviews in your reputation marketing strategies can significantly enhance your restaurant's online visibility and credibility. By obtaining consent from reviewers to use their feedback for marketing purposes, you can showcase your restaurant's best testimonials on your website, social media accounts, and other marketing materials.


Additionally, sharing the review link with customers directly or utilizing the convenient sharing options provided by Google can make it easy for customers to leave their feedback. By actively promoting your restaurant's positive reviews, you can attract more customers and grow your business.


Optimizing Your Google Maps and Business Profile

You'll need to optimize your restaurant's Google Business Profile as much as possible to reap the benefits above.


A Google Business profile is your modern-day business card. Sure, you might still hand our paper or plastic cards with some restaurant info. But a card can't house your tens, hundreds, or thousands of Google restaurant reviews.


If you don't one yet, learn how to set up Google Business Profile.


Setting up and optimizing your Google Business Profile makes it easy as pie for potential customers to find relevant info, fast.


And the sooner you answer their questions, the sooner they'll visit your restaurant.



Strategies for Encouraging Customers to Leave Google Restaurant Reviews

Encouraging customers to leave Google restaurant reviews can greatly benefit your business. In this section, we'll provide five tips to motivate clients to share their feedback!


Integrating Review Links on Your Website

Sharing review links on your restaurant's website makes it easy for customers to leave Google reviews.

They don't have to be on every page, just the pages that get the most traffic.


A simple banner or message on your website with a link to the review page can encourage customers to share their experiences on Google.


You can also use widgets, plugins, and QR codes to help capture your customers' voice.


Utilizing Table Cards and Incentives

QR code at a bar.

Table cards and incentives can be a powerful way to motivate customers to leave Google restaurant reviews. Incentives can include discounts, complimentary items with future orders, and referral fees!


Place a QR at or on every table so diners can scan it and leave a review right after their awesome meal.


If you wait too long after that moment of peak excitement to request a review, people may not remember the experience as well. Time could be the difference between a great review and a good review.


Rewarding diners for their time and feedback can result in more positive reviews for your restaurant. And more positive reviews mean a better reputation.


Employee Training for Review Requests

Restaurant staff are your first line of defense against a missed review opportunity!


Training your employees to request reviews from their customers is key to more Google restaurant reviews. The process doesn't need to be formal or scripted either!


When it's time to drop of the bill, they can say something like:

I'd love if you left us a Google review! It really helps us keep doing what we love to do and reach more people who love X cuisine.

The key to a successful in-person review request is to be polite and excited! Let customers see how much you love the restaurant and they'll most likely love to leave a review.


You can also incentivize your employees by offering rewards, such as gift cards, bonuses, or days off, to those who collect the most reviews.


Email Campaigns for Review Generation

Email campaigns can be an effective way to generate more online restaurant reviews. The email campaigns that are most effective at getting customers to leave their feedback are ones that:

  • Are sent at the right time

  • Include social proof like testimonials

  • Share incentives to encourage future business

You can even experiment with segmenting your audience and targeting specific customers.


For example, let's say you have a certain group who ate at your restaurant for Mother's Day brunch last year. You could send them an early bird email to reserve online and get 10% off of their bill.


You can replicate this for different groups of people who've eaten at your restaurant. New customers, customers who haven't visited in over six months, and more.


Leverage your email list to build relationships and give customers positive experiences. Over time, you'll get more positive Google restaurant reviews and a higher star rating that attracts new customers.


Transform your 5-star reviews into powerful customer stories.

Easily display enhanced reviews on your website, automate your social media marketing, and take advantage of NiceJob's free social proof tools!

Learn more
Reviews Social Proof Stories Automation


Social Media Engagement for Review Promotion

Social media is one of the most power tools to engage existing and potential customers.

Not everyone will visit your website, but there's a lot of people who will visit your social media pages, whether it's on Instagram, Facebook, etc.


Especially in the restaurant business. People want to see pictures and videos of your appetizers, mains, and cocktails.


Social media platforms are prime real estate to showcase your restaurant's best testimonials. (Did someone say free advertising!?)


Pepper your food and beverage pics with five-star customer reviews. This will engage existing and future followers and encourage them to visit. When they do, you'll have more opportunities to get more Google restaurant reviews.


Here's another tip: add a link to your bio that directs people to leave a review on your Google Business Profile. This can be the main link in your restaurant's bio, or you can use a free service like Linktree.


Before I move on, take a look at these consumer survey stats:

  • 65% of consumers left reviews in response to requests from a business.

  • 34% of consumers said they would be likely to leave a review if requested to do so by email.

  • 33% of people would likely leave a review if staff asked them to in person, during the business experience or transaction.

  • 32% of consumers said that a receipt or invoice would be an effective way of inciting a review.

The people have spoken... when you deliver awesome experiences and ask for reviews, they usually leave one!


Guiding Customers on How to Review Your Restaurant on Google

It seems like most people today are pretty tech savvy. But you could still provide a short (visual) guide on how to review your restaurant on Google.


Taking the guesswork out of the process could make it easier for the customers who could use help.


It could be as simple as taking a screenshot of your Google Business Profile and circling "Write a review." Then you could post it by the door so people see it on the way out, or on the counter if that's where people pay.


On your website, you could also have a section that covers the same or similar steps.


Make the review process easy and you'll increase the chance of getting more positive Google reviews.


The Importance of Responding to All Google Reviews

Responding to all Google restaurant reviews does two important things:

  1. Improves your local search rankings

  2. Demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction

And yes, when we say all we mean both your positive and negative reviews.


It's easier to respond to a positive reviews for the most part. Thank them, use their name, share that their review is why you do what you do, and tell them that you're excitement to see them next time.


If you get a negative review (and you will at some point if you haven't already) check out our templates for for responding to negative review response.


In short, when replying to negative reviews, there are five things to keep in mind:

  1. Stay composed and maintain a positive brand image when facing negative reviews.

  2. Listen attentively, empathize with customers' concerns, and showcase your commitment to customer satisfaction.

  3. Use effective response strategies that address customer issues, highlight solutions.

  4. Gain insights on handling negative reviews publicly while offering personalized solutions privately.

  5. Embrace negative reviews as learning opportunities and areas for improvement.

Now it's time to set the table

Now you know that Google restaurant reviews play a vital role in:

  • Increasing search rankings

  • Getting the reputation you deserve

  • Driving more traffic and restaurant sales

If you put these tips into practice, you'll turn diners into lifetime patrons, get more reviews, and attract more customers.


So, start collecting those positive Google reviews and watch your restaurant thrive!


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I see restaurant reviews on Google?

Want to see your restaurant's Google reviews? Open the Google search engine or Google Maps app, search for a place, tap the place's name or address and look at the reviews at the top of the page.


If you're the restaurant owner or marketing person, try to respond to every review! Even if it's a quick "Thank you!"


Why can't I write a review on Google?

There could be a couple of issues. First, you might not be logged in to your Google account. Second, you may not have claimed and verified your restaurant's Google Business Profile. Unverified and anonymous reviews are not allowed.


What does $$$ mean on Google?

Google uses the dollar sign rating to give people an idea of how expensive a restaurant is.

$ means inexpensive, $$ moderately expensive, $$$ expensive, and $$$$ very expensive.

This will help people decide where to eat without worrying about overspending!