Canadians choose restaurants based on best online reviews: survey

Canadian Pizza
May 08, 2019
By Canadian Pizza
The graph highlights the factors that lead to people's choice of restaurant.
The graph highlights the factors that lead to people's choice of restaurant. Graph courtesy Little Dragon Media
Toronto – Canadians look to online reviews first when choosing a restaurant, says a new Google survey by Little Dragon Media.

There are several contributing factors that lead Canadians to choose one restaurant over another, said the web development and digital marketing agency in a news release. However, regardless of demographics, the most important factor seems to be based upon the best online reviews.

According to the findings of the survey, when asked what elements contributed to their choice of a restaurant, 39.2 per cent of the 1,000 respondents indicated that they would choose the restaurant with "the best online reviews."

Taking into account the overwhelming popularity of this response, business owners must realize that a favorable online presence is essential. With a selection of thousands of restaurants in any given urban centre, it is difficult to filter the options. Seeing as the vast majority of people have a mobile device readily available at all times, the easiest and fastest method is simply turning to online reviews.

"A positive online presence is essential for the success of any company," said Amine Rahal, CEO of Little Dragon Media. "Companies must accelerate digital growth, which attracts quality leads and generates sales."

Another interesting takeaway from the survey findings: 21.9 per cent of respondents stated that the deciding factor for restaurant selection would be close proximity to their location.

A smaller, yet still important group, 17.6 per cent, stated that affordability was the most important element to their choice of restaurant. Yet interestingly, when demographic filters were factored, about one quarter of respondents between the ages of 18 to 34 said that affordability was key.   

Another smaller group, 16.2 per cent, responded that the most creative menu would influence their decision. However, this percentage increased with 65+-year-olds to 25 per cent. Increasingly, dining out is not merely regarded as a means of satisfying hunger, but more about enjoying a culinary experience, especially with the older demographic.

The smallest group of respondents at just over five per cent, said that an appealing website was what mattered in their decision-making. However, web design appears to be even more pertinent amongst 45 to 55 year-olds, given that about 10 per cent chose this response.

There are a myriad of factors that contribute to the success of a restaurant and in the face of heavy competition, restaurants must employ numerous strategies to increase patronage, the company said.


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