Posting your restaurant’s hours and location online might seem simple enough—just update your website and Google Business Profile, and you're set, right?
Eh, not exactly.
This common assumption and a “set it and forget it” mentality overlooks the significant impact these two seemingly small details have on reaching new customers and maintaining visibility with customers online.
In this article, you’ll learn why accurate listings, with info like hours and location data, are critical tools for connecting with new patrons and retaining existing customers.
We'll explore the challenges operators face in managing this data, share best practices for displaying these crucial details, and introduce technological solutions to make it all easier.
Lastly, we’ll explore examples of real restaurants that took control of their online listings and are reaching more customers than ever.
Let’s dive in.
The Importance of Accurate Business Information
There are two key reasons why your online business information needs to be accurate 100% of the time:
- So customers can find you and know without a doubt that the information you’re providing is correct. No one wants to waste time driving to or trying to order from a location that’s closed.
- Google closely monitors and grades the accuracy of your online data—if there are inconsistencies, it will drop you lower on the list of “near me” restaurant search results. This damages your SEO and significantly drops the number of guests who’ll find your restaurant online.
Number one is all about building trust with your customers.
I’m sure you’ve experienced the feeling of eagerly walking up to a restaurant you found online, only to be greeted by a locked front door, closed sign, and dim interior.
Such incidents tend to stick with people, possibly leading to negative online reviews on sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp. They’re less likely to trust your online information in the future, and unlikely to give you a second chance.
Keeping a well-maintained online presence can reinforce positive customer expectations and minimize the chances of disappointment, confusion, and frustration caused by incorrect information. And in turn, accurate data builds trust and loyalty because you never steer guests in the wrong direction.
As the overlords of the internet, Google notices and keeps track of all of this information.
Bad reviews and inaccurate listings can hurt your local search performance and SEO.
If you’re unfamiliar with SEO, check out our Guide To Digital Restaurant Management and do a deep dive into how SEO affects your restaurant’s ability to be found by customers online.
On the flip side, Google also sees every amazing customer review and notices when listings are 100% accurate—bumping up your rankings to a position that hundreds of diners in your local area will see daily.
If you’re curious about the health of your restaurant’s online listings, Marqii has a free tool that will scan your business listings and tell you precisely what you need to fix to rank higher on Google.
Accurate online data boils down to this: to keep both your customers and Google happy, you need the data displayed online to always match what’s on your website AND what’s going on with your physical restaurant. Not doing so can make it hard for customers to find you online and can upset guests who read incorrect information and make decisions based on that information.
Seems straightforward enough, but keeping up with these duties is more complex than you might think.
Challenges in Managing Hours and Location Information
There are 4 major challenges when trying to maintain your online listings:
- Time and Resource Constraints: Many restaurant operators are pressed for time, focusing on the day-to-day demands of running a restaurant. Allocating time and resources to update online listings regularly can often take a backseat, leading to outdated information being displayed to potential customers. The time it takes to update every platform can take all day without the help of proper tools, especially for multi-location restaurant brands.
- Frequent Changes and Updates: Restaurants often adjust their hours due to seasonal variations, holidays, or special events. Keeping online listings aligned with these changes is challenging, especially when managing multiple platforms like Google, Yelp, Facebook, and your restaurant's website.
- Inconsistency Across Platforms: We touched on this in the first section, but it’s worth repeating. Your information must be surgically accurate across all platforms if your goal is to create a satisfying customer experience and reach more customers through search.
- Responding to Unexpected Changes: Restaurants must also be fast when updating their information in response to unexpected events like power outages, weather conditions, or other emergencies. The ability to quickly communicate these changes to customers is essential but can take time to manage effectively. Posting a closure notice on Instagram and taping a sign on the door isn’t enough for a great guest experience.
Every restaurant operator faces these challenges when trying to keep their online assets in order. To simplify the task, we’ve put together a list of best practices so you can tackle the job head-on.
Best Practices for Managing and Displaying Hours and Location Info
This article addresses your hours and location data, but these best practices should be applied to all online information related to your restaurant. If you stick to the list, you’ll see a significant difference in customer satisfaction and online visibility.
- Keep Your Website Updated: Your website should be the primary source of accurate and up-to-date information. Ensure your hours and location are prominently displayed, easy to find, and regularly updated. Consider adding a noticeable banner or section on the homepage for any temporary changes or special hours.
- Use Your Google Business Profile: Google Business Profile (GBP) is a powerful tool for local SEO and should be a top priority. Regularly update your GBP information, including current hours and location.
- Consistency Across All Platforms: Ensure that your hours and location are consistent across all online platforms where your restaurant is listed. This includes social media, review sites like Yelp, and local directories. Inconsistencies can confuse customers and harm your restaurant's credibility.
- Highlight Changes for Special Events: If your restaurant has different hours for holidays or special events, make these changes clear across all platforms. Use your listings, social media, website, in-store messaging, and email newsletters to communicate these special hours to your regular customers.
What initially seemed like an easy enough task—posting and keeping hours and location up-to-date—is actually time-consuming and tedious when you get into the nuts and bolts of it.
That’s why we suggest you leverage technology to make the job easier.
Getting More Efficient With Technology
Now that we understand online listings aren’t static information but ongoing resources that require attention and precision, it’s beneficial to restaurant operators to take advantage of every tool available to ease the strain of running a restaurant.
Here are 4 key ways technology, like Marqii, can make managing your online information more efficient.
- Centralized Updates: Software like Marqii offer a one-stop solution, allowing you to update your restaurant's hours and location in one place. These updates then automatically sync across various online listings like Google, Yelp, and Facebook, and can even update your website. This integration significantly reduces the time spent managing multiple platforms and minimizes the risk of inconsistencies.
- Scheduling Tools for Advanced Planning: Advanced scheduling tools enable you to plan changes to your hours for holidays or special events ahead of time. By setting up these changes in advance, you can ensure your information is automatically updated when needed, offering peace of mind and reliability.
- Mobile Management for On-the-Go Updates: Mobile-friendly tools empower you to update your restaurant’s information anywhere, anytime. This is especially beneficial for restaurant operators who need the flexibility to make quick changes or updates outside of your in-house office.
- Analytics for Informed Decisions: Marqii provides analytics and insights into how customers interact with your online listings. This data can guide you in optimizing your online presence, helping you better understand customer behavior and preferences.
We’ve mentioned several times how technology platforms like Marqii are efficient at saving time—so you might be wondering how much time you could save by partnering with Marqii.
If that’s you, check out our FREE time saving calculator to learn how much time you could be devoting to other tasks all year long.
Thousands of restaurants right now are saving thousands of hours every year by using Marqii.
Let’s take a closer look at some of that data.
Real Examples Of Restaurants Saving Time And Money
Deschutes Brewery in Bend, OR, struggled with keeping online information up-to-date. It took too much time, and they could visibly see how it was affecting reaching new customers in Google searches.
5 short months after connecting with Marqii, Deschutes Brewery:
- Saved 1,000 hours on menu and listings updates
- Increased their Google Maps views by 1 Million
- Doubled their “get directions” requests on Google Maps
Here’s what General Manager Kitra Musik had to say, “We used to spend a full day on data entry every time we changed our menu. Now, every time we have a menu change, it’s automatically updated the next day. Marqii has saved us so much time.”
For more details on how Deschutes Brewery saved time, check out the full case study.
Pampas in Las Vegas serves Brazilian BBQ, and they needed help with guest acquisition and retention. They had little to no information about where guests were coming from, how to track online info, and struggled with Google rankings.
After partnering with Marqii for 4 months, Pampas:
- Increased Google search views by +250%
- Doubled their Google discovery searches for “bbq near me” in Las Vegas
- Learned that over 68% of website visits came from Google.
Here’s what Pampas Director Marisa Romero-Sandlin said about working with Marqii, “Marketing for a restaurant is really hard. There are so many different variables it’s hard to put your find on what’s making a difference. Marqii gives us the ability to analyze and make meaningful decisions around acquisition and retention. It’s so simple; it’s idiot proof…I just wish we’d found it sooner.”
Go here to learn more about how connecting with Marqii helped Pampas thrive.
As simple as it seems, managing your online listings is no small feat. To maintain visibility in Google search results and consistently provide customers with accurate information, you'll need all the help you can get.
If you’re ready to take back your online presence and control your data across all platforms from one easy-to-use dashboard, schedule a demo, and we’ll show you how Marqii can help with more than just listings.
You’ll also get:
- Review management capabilities
- Online menu management
- An elevated guest experience
- Greater control of SEO
- And more…
Reach out right now and take control of your online listings.