7 min read
7 min read
An OpenTable profile helps you connect with guests. It can be just as vital to success as your own restaurant’s website. Yet, sometimes a profile remains an untapped resource for restaurants. As with many things in life, you get out of a profile what you put into it. A profile that’s fully complete will benefit a restaurant far more than one that includes minimal information.
Many factors come into play when a diner searches for a restaurant—including location, cuisine type, reviews, and diner preferences—all to help guests find the right restaurant at the right time. Make sure your profile is up to date to get in front of diners most likely to book.
Remember, OpenTable profiles are optimized for conversion. A full profile gives guests all the information they need on one page to quickly book a reservation. Plus, if you run a boost campaign, a stellar profile ensures you’ll get the best return on your investment. Here’s why your profile is so valuable, plus inspiring examples of great profiles.
Get diners vital info at a glance
Your profile is a one-stop shop to display the most information that’s accurate and up to date. Everything diners want to know is quick and easy to find—cuisine type, price point, hours, and how to make a reservation.
The biggest mistake restaurants make with their profiles is providing spotty or incomplete information. The few minutes spent adding details and ensuring you’re not leaving anything out are well worth it in the end. Make sure you’ve filled it out as completely and with as much detail as you can. And if you’re not sure what to add, check out the following examples of top-notch profiles for inspiration.
Give diners a sneak peek
The text in your profile is very important, but the images featured there play just as big a role. Images give diners a preview of what they can expect when they dine with you. Showcase your most mouth-watering entrees and eye-catching dining spaces.
Photos clearly add visual interest to your profile, but they serve a strategic function as well. When people search for restaurants, the ones with photos catch more eyes. This increases the chances of someone finding you and making a reservation.
La Brasa, a Mexican restaurant in Massachusetts, uses polished photography (see below) to whet the appetite of potential guests, but you can take your own appetizing photos with nothing more than your smartphone. When it comes to pictures, more is more.
Control the restaurant’s narrative
Many restaurateurs get frustrated with how they get portrayed (or ignored) by the local media. An OpenTable profile helps a restaurant tell its story in its own way. Use the description section to share vivid, accurate details. It’s a chance to talk to diners directly and tell them all the things that make a visit special, memorable, and different from other places.
Don’t forget to specify the cuisine type, any special menus, or favorite dishes. Talk up the chef, mention awards or accolades, or anything else you think potential guests should know. Diners drink up this information when they’re learning about restaurants.
Highlight what sets you apart
The profile is full of options to showcase the things that set your restaurant apart. For example, if you have live music, trivia nights, or movies, you can deploy the Entertainment section to tell the world. The more optional sections you complete, the more you’ll stand out.
Entertainment can go beyond the obvious live music. For example, Foreign Cinema, a Mediterranean restaurant in San Francisco, lets people know about the films they show to create a special atmosphere on their patio after dark. (See the callout on their profile below.)
Reach diners looking to bring your restaurant home
Not every diner browsing OpenTable is looking to go out to eat. Some of them are in search of takeout and delivery options that let them bring the restaurant experience home.
Use your profile to offer links to OpenTable takeout and delivery options to make it easy for them. With one easy click, diners can start ordering.
Offer more than a reservation
Many times, potential guests are unaware of everything a restaurant has to offer beyond the obvious table for two. Private dining in particular can slip under the radar. Displaying it on your profile helps you connect with guests who may be planning a party or special event that your restaurant could be the ideal venue for. People can book private parties via a restaurant’s profile, allowing guests to customize their own special events.
A profile provides multiple ways to call attention to what kinds of experiences and offers are available other than reservations. You can get more eyes on all your offerings by highlighting special menus, happy hours, and more. Your profile can feature links to specific landing pages with all the details about your experiences and offers.
Check out Spaghettini Grill and Jazz Club in Orange County, California. They’ve featured their Taco Tuesday experience as well as offers for Spaghettini Happy Hour and Wine Wednesday. Check it out on their profile:
Let diners know how you’ve been featured
Diners on the OpenTable network come not only to make reservations but also to learn about and discover new restaurants. There are many engaging articles on the site that help inform their dining decisions. Part of the profile calls out any article a restaurant has been featured in so a potential guest can click on it to learn more. Atlanta Fish Market has been featured in several articles, three of which are prominently displayed in their profile (see below).
“Top Tags” make you more findable
The Top Tags called out on your profile can help people get a sense of what a restaurant is all about. Those who are looking for some specific restaurant cuisine type, meal, or vibe can sort and search to find specific qualities or types of restaurants.
These tags help more diners discover you while browsing. Shaker + Spear, a seafood restaurant in Seattle, sports some of the most frequently searched tags on OpenTable. Tags are generated based on the content of your profile as well as diner reviews. (Read on for more about the value of reviews.)
And tags are yet another reason to engage with reviewers and encourage them to share more about their dining experiences with you.
Reviews that help you connect with guests
Restaurants don’t always have the most comfortable relationship with online reviews, but OpenTable reviews present a number of positive opportunities. First of all, when people are looking for where to dine, reviews carry weight. It’s called social proof and you’ll have it on your profile.
Unlike other online platforms where people who have never set foot in a restaurant can leave a review, OpenTable only allows reviews from people who have actually dined with you. This makes it a more credible source. Philippe Chow, a Chinese restaurant in New York, benefits from a bevy of strong reviews, viewable right on its profile.
It’s a good idea to respond to reviews where anyone visiting the profile will see it. Thank those who’ve left you a rave for their kind words. Respond politely to anyone with valid criticism, and encourage them to return so you can make things right. Most of all, use the treasure trove of intel offered by reviewers to make improvements where you need to and make your strong points even better.
An OpenTable profile is so much more than meets the eye at first glance. It can be a restaurant’s second home online, a place where regulars and potential guests are welcomed with all the information they came looking for.
Your profile is a place where people get to know you, find answers to their questions, and see what other diners are raving about. A robust profile can help you talk up all the ways you make people’s lives easier, from offering takeout to offering a special party with private dining. Make sure yours reflects all that the restaurant has to offer so you can reap the rewards.