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Why is Google becoming evermore important?

The customer journey in hospitality has been transformed by technology, accelerated by the pandemic. Researching a venue is ‘now digitally driven’ according to a recent headline from Zonal and KAM Insight research. For example 1 in 3 people now look at photos and menus online before visiting, this rises to 1 in 2 for younger people and demonstrates the increasingly digital effect on eating and drinking out.

‘Brits are now turning to Google ahead of friends and family for recommendations when it comes to deciding on a hospitality venue’, said the report. 30% of respondents said they do a ‘general internet search’ with 20% saying they use ‘Google near me’. Only 23% said they ask for recommendations from friends and family, a significant decline over the last three years.

What customers are looking for when researching venues hasn’t changed much over three years; most looking for menus, customer reviews, prices and photos (of the venue, the food and drink). It’s how people are making their hospitality choices that have changed.

Two points are important for operators aiming to increase sales:

1) With Google having nearly 90% of search share, it’s now THE main influence on booking, ahead of friends, family and other recommendations

2) 17% of customers are more likely to book ahead now vs pre-pandemic

So in addition to managing a website and social channels, as important is Google. Having ‘Reserve a table’ under your Google listing is important for additional sales. Customers are visiting websites less to book… after pressing ‘Reserve a table’, a second click reserves a table, directly from Google without even visiting your website.

We’ve seen the increase in business at our own pub, the, just from the ‘Reserve a table’ button.

Switch4profit’s recommended booking platforms always include ‘Reserve a table’ with Google, because the simple fact is that Google is becoming evermore important and influential. 

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