- By Colleen McNamara
We’ve been talking a lot about how important it is that your businesses receive and manage online reviews. Having a wealth of customer feedback to enrich your local listings is a central feature of any brand’s digital identity. If you’re still not convinced, consider the stats: 92% of consumers now read online reviews, and nearly half of those people form an opinion after reading just 1-3 pieces of customer feedback.
In particular, reviews are a major aspect of any restaurant brand. You might already know this because you’re a foodie yourself, and you know that doing the research is half of the fun. Or maybe you saw how stressful just one damaging review can be, as portrayed in Jon Favreau’s 2014 film Chef.
When browsing the review sphere, we found that consumers typically discussed their high expectations, the full-fledged dining “experience”, service, and of course, the food. The key takeaway? Restaurant reviewers touch on several aspects when they give feedback.
To get you inspired to get reviews of your own, and use them to your brand’s advantage, we’re taking a look at the reviews from Top 3 Restaurants in the World for 2016. #Goals.
3. Eleven Madison Park, New York City
The Big Apple’s favorite Flatiron District eatery has been around for well over a decade, though in the past few years, Eleven Madison Park has gained considerable momentum. And with the host of awards — including the prestigious James Beard award given to the restaurant’s Head Chef, Daniel Humm — has come thousands of visitors, and therefore thousands of reviews.
The sheer volume of Eleven Madison Park’s reviews is impressive, on OpenTable, the restaurant has over 4,000 reviews, and nearly half of that on TripAdvisor. Reviewers tend to discuss expectations of the restaurant (a.k.a the “hype”) measured against their lived experience; of each of the restaurants on this list, reviewers are most critical of Eleven Madison Park.
Almost 50% of the most recent 10 comments came from international visitors. Many deemed it a “classic American” spot, while others were quite pleased that the tip is included in the bill; in fact, one user entitled his post, “A NO TIP Great Experience in a Restaurant.”
2. El Celler de Can Roca, Spain
Known for its inventiveness with flavors and mind-blowing presentations, El Celler de Can Roca has held a spot within the world’s top 10 for several years. They boast a wine cellar that houses 600+ vintages and its location in Girona, Catalonia, makes it a must-visit for travelers looking to tick a 3-star Michelin restaurant off of their bucket list.
Gearing up for the big meal, researchers can check out reviews on both Yelp (37 reviews) and TripAdvisor (1800 reviews.) Users on Yelp tended to write extensively on their experience; the platform serves as a type of a mini blog post for the foodie inclined. The average star rating here was a cool 4.5 stars, while the overall TripAdvisor rating is a perfect 5. There is a secondary TripAdvisor page for all reviews in Spanish.
The most common adjective used to describe El Celler de Can Roca? “Best.” A diner from Amsterdam entitled her review “Best Restaurant Ever!” and wrote, “This is by far the best restaurant I have ever eaten at in my life. The service, the ambiance, the wines and the food are the closest to perfection I have ever experienced.”
Another TripAdvisor user commented, “Amazing, amazing, amazing. Worth the 11 month wait. Would strongly recommend a long nap after the tasting menu.” Ah, Spain!
1. Osteria Francescana, Italy
Chef Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana has received a considerable amount of top-notch press since his restaurant was crowned the world’s best in May. The honor was complemented by his appearance on the popular series Chef’s Table that shows Bottura’s love of food, and his guiding culinary principles of down-to-earth Italian cooking with a modern twist.
Most of Bottura’s online reviews live on TripAdvisor, since many of his customers are tourists visiting Modena. Right now he boasts a total of 1,500 reviews and counting, and roughly 1,400 user-generated photos of the food, wine, and setting.
Of the 10 reviews that appear on the first page of TripAdvisor, only one of Osteria Francescana’s reviews is missing just one star: a 99/100 score. The customers most often comment on the full-fledged “experience” of being at the restaurant, rather than just the food itself.
One reviewer from the U.S. called it a “beautiful experience” and noted that the media exposure garnered by the restaurant only “begins to prepare you for the complete experience of a tasteful and beautiful setting, unobtrusive but vigilant service, and the actual tastes and smells of food.”
Another user from Australia wrote, “I would give 6 stars if possible. Well worth the money for what truly is a life experience.”