FAQs for Restaurants
What is DiningList.com?
DiningList.com is used by hotels to share their favorite list of local recommend restaurants with their hotel guests.
DiningList.com replaces outdated paper lists and menus the hotel used to give guests.
How does DiningList.com work?
Participating hotels pick their favorite 10-15 local restaurants. We automatically add the restaurant’s details and then we host the hotel’s list online for free at DiningList.com.
Anytime a hotel’s guest asks for restaurant recommendations, the guest can open their phone to the hotel’s DiningList and view the hotel’s recommended restaurants. It’s a web page, not an app.
Each recommended restaurant is shown with pictures, hours, costs, reviews, ratings, map directions, a link to make a reservation (if applicable) -- and even suggested items to order. This is exactly what hotel guests want to see as they choose a restaurant for their next meal.
Why should my restaurant sign-up with DiningList.com?
Every restaurateur understands how vital hotel guests are to their business success. We help get more hotel guests into your restaurant. Its free to sign-up. You only pay after you get guest referrals. It’s easy to use. There’s no discounting or couponing. Why would you not sign-up?
What does DiningList.com do to benefit restaurants?
We help a restaurant get more full paying hotel guests. We start by helping to get the restaurant added to a recommended restaurant list at hotels using DiningList.com.
There are two ways to get on a hotel’s DiningList.
First, restaurant owners or managers can personally meet with local hotel general managers to ask to be added to the hotel’s DiningList.
Or, second, restaurants can sign-up with DiningList.com and use our service to have their restaurants continuously promoted to all our participating hotels within 5 miles (8km) of their restaurant (fee applies).
Once a restaurant is on a hotel’s DiningList and signs-up with us, our system will automatically optimize their restaurant’s listing to get the most hotel guests possible into their restaurant.
How easy is DiningList.com for restaurants?
Super easy. Restaurants simply sign-up in five minutes and that’s it. Our system does everything else automatically.
What does a restaurant get when they sign-up for free?
Signing-up is important for a restaurant. Once a restaurant signs-up, our system automatically moves their restaurant’s listing to the highest available spot on any applicable hotel lists.
We also show a photo immediately under the restaurant’s name for those restaurants who sign-up. A picture is worth 1,000 words, and restaurant photos are absolutely wonderful in attracting hotel guests to a restaurant.
There is zero risk with signing-up. It’s free to sign-up and DiningList.com is 100% Pay-for-performance! Restaurants who sign-up with us for free only pay for referrals to their restaurant after they see a report showing every hotel guest referral DiningList.com delivered for their restaurant.
If a restaurant owner or manager is not happy with the hotel guest referrals, the restaurant can stop using DiningList.com and pay nothing. We are that confident restaurants will love DiningList.com!
Is it really free to sign-up and to get added to a hotel’s DiningList?
Yes. It is 100% free for a restaurant to be added to any hotel’s DiningList and to sign-up with us. (Note: We do offer restaurants a paid service where we can promote their restaurant to hotels, but this is optional.)
Getting your restaurant on a list is smart, but the greatest benefit for using DiningList.com is getting more hotel guests into your restaurant. When you sign-up for free our automated service will automatically help you get the most hotel guest referrals possible.
How do we do that? For starters, we know hotel guests choose restaurants showing up higher on a list 3-5 times more often than restaurants showing lower on a list. So, as soon as you sign-up, we will automatically move your restaurant to the highest available spot on your applicable hotel’s DiningList (first come, first served!).
List placement really matters, so sign-up fast. The higher the spot, the more likely a hotel guest will choose your restaurant.
You have nothing to lose. Our referral program is 100% pay-for-performance. If you are not happy with referral results, stop using our service and you won’t have to pay us a thing!
How much do participating restaurants pay hotels for hotel guest referrals?
Restaurants love our answer on this one: Restaurants never pay any cash to the hotel. Ever.
That’s right, no cash! When restaurants sign-up for more referrals, they simply authorize DiningList.com to issue gift certificates to hotels based on how many guest referrals the restaurant gets from each hotel. Hotel’s prefer getting gift certificates because they hand them out to hotel employees as employee retention rewards.
You can think of DiningList.com as pay-per-click referral marketing, but instead of paying the hotel with CASH, your restaurant issues gift certificate credits to the hotel!
How much gift certificate credit does each hotel guest referral cost?
We track three specific hotel guest referral actions that benefit a restaurant.
First, when a hotel guest clicks on a hotel’s DiningList to view the details for your restaurant, our system records the date and time of that guest’s click as a referral AND issues a gift certificate credit to the hotel for that referral (currently: $0.50 towards a gift certificate).
Second, when a hotel guest clicks on your listing to follow map directions to your restaurant, we also record that click as a referral and credit the hotel with gift certificate credit (currently $2.00 towards a gift certificate). The higher credit amount indicates the higher value of the referral because a guest viewing map directions to your restaurant is a strong signal they are heading your way.
Finally, we credit the hotel’s referral account when/if their hotel guest clicks on a link in your listing to call you to make a phone reservation with you (if you accept phone reservations).
At the end of every month, we send you an email report showing you the gift certificate credits each hotel earned for each click. If you are not 100% happy with your referral results, do not pay us! You can simply cancel your service and you don’t pay anything.
Of course, we expect you will LOVE the hotel guest referrals DiningList.com gets for your restaurant. If you are happy with the reports referrals, do nothing and five days later our system will automatically issue each hotel their earned gift certificates.
Can you give me an example of how much my monthly cash costs might be for referrals?
Sure. First, remember: your only out-of-pocket cash-cost for DiningList is the 15% fee we charge you based on the face-value of gift certificates issued. You never pay the hotel cash. You give them gift certificate credits.
To understand how it all works for you, consider this example:
Let’s say you are on a hotel’s list and 100 hotel guests click to see your restaurant’s details. This means the hotel generated a high volume of interest in your restaurant. For generating (and proving) that referral interest, the hotel would earn $50 in gift certificate credits from your restaurant (100 clicks x $0.50 GC credit).
From those 100 customers viewing your restaurant details, let’s say 25 hotel guests decide they choose your restaurant for their next meal and they click on your map directions to head out to your location for their meal (Awesome!). Their map clicks would generate another $50 in gift certificate credits for the hotel (25 clicks x $2.00 GC credits).
Lastly, if you take reservations, let’s say 25 of those same 100 hotel guests call you using the call to reserve link we include in your listing. The click on the call link generates another $50 GC credit for the hotel (25 x $2.00 in GC credit).
In this example, at the end of the month the hotel earned $150 in gift certificate referral credits from your restaurant for generating 50 or more table-turns for your restaurant. If your typical table generates $50 in revenue, that could be $2,500 in new revenue for you. To get that new revenue, your cost was $150 in gift certificates (6%). But, remember, these are gift certificate credits to your restaurant, not cash, so you are actually even better off! And also remember, some gift certificates may expire before they are used and those don’t cost you anything.
You would get an email report at the end of the month explaining all the above. You can then view every referral click in detail to see the date/time of each click. If everything looks fine, you do nothing and five days later our system will issue the hotel six $25 gift certificates ($150 in total).
Finally, at the time we issue your gift certificates to the hotel, our system would charge you 15% of the total face value which would be $22.50 ($150 gc face value * 15%).
That’s how it works and that’s the value we create for you!
How do the gift certificates work and who uses them?
Each month, after you have had five days to review all hotel guest referral clicks for your restaurant, we will automatically issue each hotel their gift certificates. We issue them in $25 denominations. They look like this:
Each gift certificate includes the hotel’s name, your restaurant’s name and the amount of the gift certificate. You can validate the gift certificates on our website anytime. We also provide you a report of every gift certificate issued. Gift certificates do have 60-day expiration dates on them.
Hotel general managers print the gift certificates out and give them to their hotel employees as an employee benefit. Hotel employees brings them to your restaurant. At the beginning of their meal they inform their waiter/waitress that they will be using their $25 DiningList.com gift certificate to partially pay their bill. You and your staff accept the gift certificate like cash. See the sample above to read the full full rules and details.
By the way, you can also add your own unique gift certificate rules to your gift certificates.
Finally, remember your gift certificates can only be used back at your restaurant, so that also increases your sales!
What if I choose not to sign-up for free to get more hotel guest referrals?
Please consider this: It is free to sign-up and you never pay anything unless you are happy with the hotel guest referrals we send you.
But if you choose not to sign-up for free, our participating hotels can still add your restaurant to their hotel’s DiningList 100% free. We never charge a hotel to add any restaurant to a list.
If you do not sign-up, you should know that you will likely get far fewer hotel guests choosing your restaurant compared to those restaurants who do sign-up. The reason is simple: Restaurants who sign-up with DiningList.com are always shown first, before restaurants who have not signed-up. List placement really matters. Hotel guests choose restaurants showing higher on a list 3-5 times more often than those showing lower on a list.
In addition, if you do not sign-up with DiningList.com, we do not show your restaurant’s photos on the initial DiningList screen.
To repeat: You have nothing to lose by signing-up. You never pay us any referral fees until you see the referrals we drove to your restaurant. If you are not happy with the referrals and volumes we generate for you, just cancel and you won’t have to pay us a thing. With zero risk and no down-side, it makes sense to sign-up with DiningList.com.
Is discounting or couponing required?
No. There is absolutely no discounting or couponing involved with DiningList.com. Each hotel guest will pay you as they normally would. Gift certificates are used later, usually by hotel employees who receive the gift certificates from the hotel general manager.
What about bad reviews?
Unlike Yelp or TripAdvisor, you won’t get a bad review on DiningList.com. General Managers choose restaurants based on location, reputation and match to the hotel’s clientele. There is no reason whatsoever that a hotel would ever post a bad review about a restaurant they are recommending to their hotel guests!
What about referral fraud risks?
If someone is looking at a list of recommended restaurants on DiningList.com, they have generally sought a local hotel’s restaurant recommendations. We issue your gift certificates to each hotel based on verified referrals from that hotel’s list. We assume visitors are legitimately searching for a recommended restaurant. However, any referrals that DiningList considers to be invalid are not counted towards your gift certificates. These referrals include unintentional clicks or clicks resulting from malicious software. Here are just a few examples of what DiningList may consider to be invalid referrals:
- Referrals intended to increase restaurant costs or to increase gift certificates for hotels
- Referral clicks by automated tools, robots, or other deceptive software
- Referrals from IP addresses far from a hotel’s location.