We get asked all the time, “How important are my reviews anyway?” – we have to tell you reviews are a big deal!! Especially for restaurants.
Here are just a few important stats around reviews and how important they are for restaurants
Out of all industries, consumers read restaurant reviews more than any other industry (Bright Local).
Since 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations for dining decisions, it’s key you have a bunch of positive reviews (Bright Local).
A half-star difference on a Yelp review rating can swing restaurant business by a whopping 27% (Foodbeast).
Since reviews are so important for your restaurant, we wanted to focus on a few things that you can do when it comes to growing a good reputation online for your restaurant.
Increasing Good Reviews
It is important that you focus on growing the number of positive online reviews that you have. Here are a handful of ways you can do this:
Reach Out to Your Regulars and Ask them to Review you
Tapping into your base of loyal customers who are already fans is a great place to start when it comes to getting more positive online reviews. You know this group loves you since they keep coming back. Spend a few minutes talking to them and asking them if they wouldn’t mind leaving you a positive review.
In most cases, this group wants to see you succeed and would be happy to write a review for you on sites like Yelp, Facebook, Google, TripAdvisor, and others.
Keep Your Social Media and other Business Profiles Active and Up to Date
Restaurants that maintain an active social media presence and other business profiles typically have more positive reviews. The social media presence helps you stay top of mind to your customers and make them more likely to leave a review.
At a minimum as a restaurant, you should have active profiles on the following platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Google My Business, Yelp, TripAdvisor. Some other sites you should consider include OpenTable and Zomato.
Make it Easy to Review You
The easier you make it for a customer to review you the better. There are several things you can do to help make it easier for someone to review you. Here are just a few:
- Create a Landing Page on your website to the sites you want to be reviewed on
- Include it on your menus
- Post in your restaurant
- Share links and ask on social media from time to time
Use Software or Other Tools to Ask for Review
One of the best ways we have found to grow the number of reviews a business has is to have a method in place to ask for a review! We suggest using technology that will connect with the customer after their visit and ask them for a review. Having a system like this in place also allows you to see the negative reviews right away and respond to those and try to fix the issue if possible before it hits a review site. Note: certain sites frown on this so it is not available for all.
Handling Negative Reviews
The goal is to grow your positive reviews, but you can’t ignore the negative reviews. You will probably experience a negative review from time to time because you can’t please everyone. The key is how you handle the negative review.
When a negative review comes in the best way to handle it is to respond in a professional manner. If it is a problem you can resolve do your best to do so and invite them back in. Unfortunately, you may encounter issues where no matter what you say or do it won’t matter – just keep in mind in all cases how you respond to the negative review and handle it will be seen by everyone.
As you navigate the landscape of marketing your restaurant and growing it keep in mind how important reviews are to your bottom line. Ensure that you have some type of system in place to be growing your positive reviews on a regular basis as well as proactively responding to any negative reviews that come in.
If you would like to learn more about technology and tools you can use to increase and manage your reviews, we would love to speak with you.