August 11, 2017 Blog
Whoever said people don’t believe what they read on the Internet clearly wasn’t talking about restaurant reviews. According to a study by the National Restaurant Association (NRA), 53 percent of millennial consumers and 47 percent of frequent visitors to full-service restaurants consider online reviews when choosing a restaurant. That’s why it’s important to use reviews to improve your restaurant’s online reputation. Here’s how.
- Request more reviews. More online reviews mean better search engine optimization (SEO) results and online visibility. Many customers would be happy to write a review of your restaurant, but won’t unless you ask them to do so. And remember: Customers want to feel special, so make these requests personal and send them in targeted emails or letters. You can also mention the idea as you chat with diners during a visit.
- Make it easy. Many people cannot (or would rather not) write and post free-form reviews. Accommodate them while boosting your restaurant’s online reputation by providing an online review form or landing page customers can simply fill out and submit. Include space for additional comments at the end of the form or landing page. Reviews created this way can be just as beneficial to your restaurant as other types of feedback.
- Be active on social media. Your customers are on Yelp, OpenTable, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites, and you should be, too. Encourage customers to make positive comments about your restaurant by engaging with them. Let them know what’s new at your establishment, and solicit feedback about the experiences they had there. Respond to comments, and invite anyone who sees them to ask questions. Address negative comments as well. Just be respectful and ask what you can do to make the situation better or persuade unhappy customers to give your restaurant another try.
- Offer incentives. Some customers need a little more of a push to review a restaurant and help it to improve its online reputation. Incentives, like a discount on a menu item or a free item on a future visit, may do the trick. Use social media channels and in-store signage to spread the word about any incentives you’re offering to customers who review your restaurant. Servers can also mention these incentives to guests.
- Share reviews. The more you share positive reviews, the more others will try your restaurant and write positive reviews of their own. Post positive reviews on your restaurant’s website, as well as on your social media page and in your newsletter. Keep things fresh by removing old reviews and replacing them with more recent ones.
- Provide great service and excellent products. If your restaurant’s service is outstanding, the customer satisfaction level is high, and the food is top-notch, its reviews will be overwhelmingly positive.
A stellar online reputation can play an important role in a restaurant’s success. Use the above pointers to obtain a steady stream of positive reviews, and that reputation will be within easy reach.
Contact us today for new ideas on how to improve your business.