Summer is winding down, so it's a good time to take stock of how the fair-weather months have been treating local restaurants. There are lots of ways to measure the popularity of local eateries, but nothing is more relevant these days than online reviews.
According to research from BrightLocal, consumers read online reviews for restaurants more than any other business type, and it's not even close. The research also shows that:
- 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family
- 73% of consumers think that reviews posted more than three months ago are no longer relevant
It's pretty clear that customers use online reviews to decide which restaurants they'll patronize, and they look primarily at recent reviews to make their decisions. So, we analyzed millions of customer reviews nationwide at local restaurants over the first two months of summer — June and July. We found the most popular restaurants in major cities as measured by how many reviews they received on popular business review sites during that time.
Starting this week, we'll share the most-reviewed restaurants of the summer for major U.S. cities like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Miami, Las Vegas, and Washington, D.C. Restaurants that receive a lot of reviews also tend to receive a lot of positive reviews. All of that adds up to more money in the bank for local food and beverage businesses.
Look for our first post tomorrow on Los Angeles. Sneak preview: the trendy Italian eatery Bestia took the top spot for the City of Angels!