2020 wasn’t a good year for restaurant owners. Given the restrictions in various places, dine-in services weren’t allowed. The good thing is that the restaurant business immediately adjusted and focused on providing takeout services. Hence, many restaurants survive and continue providing quality dishes to their customers. There was even an increase in the number of businesses in the food industry. The competition became tougher, and restaurant businesses focus on getting more 5-star restaurant reviews. Giving attention to restaurant reputation management is now imperative.
When people decide to eat, they consider looking at reviews first. Over 80% of potential customers consider what other people have to say before deciding where to nine. Therefore, it’s important to receive 5-star reviews. When the restaurant has a good reputation online, there’s a bigger chance of increased profits. These are some useful tips to receive more positive reviews.
Own the profile on review sites
There are different review sites like Yelp and Google where people can leave comments and suggestions. It’s crucial to own the profile on these review sites. It shows that the reviews are for the business. It also shows authenticity and willingness to receive reviews from the customers. A verified profile also makes it easier for the customers to ensure that the business reads their reviews. They will feel more encouraged to write one if they know that it gets to the right people.
Respond to every review
Even if there are more review sites available, businesses should work hard to respond to every review available. It’s an excellent way of encouraging people to keep writing. Again, not everyone wants to write a review. If they do, it shows their willingness to praise the experience when dining in the restaurant. A simple thank you will make them feel good. Some customers felt satisfied when dining in the restaurant, but it doesn’t mean that they will leave a good review. They will only do it if they have enough time, and they felt that the services were above expectations. They deserve a word of gratitude.
Ask the guest to leave reviews
Although most people don’t like writing reviews in general, it doesn’t mean that they will never do it. According to surveys, some customers are willing to write something good about the restaurant. The only problem is that they forget to do it, or they don’t know how. Reminding them by sending an email can be an excellent strategy. When you get redirected to the site for leaving reviews, it’s easier for them to fill the form. Another strategy is to remind them through the app. If the company uses an app for making reservations or other services, there should also be a feature for leaving ratings and reviews. Also, the company can target people who will probably leave a good review. It’s important to get as many people as possible even just to rate the restaurant. One person who didn’t feel satisfied and was cranky after dining could pull the average down. For instance, if the current average is 4, and one guest left a 1-star review, the average immediately drops to 3.5. Therefore, it’s important to ask someone else to leave a higher rating to pull the average back up. Paying attention to the rating is important since some people believe in it. Not everyone has sufficient time to go through every review available. They will only consider the ratings and decide. If the average is on the lower end, it could potentially turn off some customers. Maintaining a high average should be a priority.
Prioritize returning guests
If guests who already dined in the restaurant before decided to come back, they should be a priority. They wouldn’t come back if they didn’t feel satisfied with their first try. If asked to leave a review this time, they will most probably say something good. Remind them after dining to leave a good rating. If the second try remained satisfactory, they wouldn’t hesitate to say something nice.
Simplify the process
Again, some people wouldn’t mind leaving a review if they know how to do the process and if it’s easy for them. Therefore, it’s important to simplify the process, told Carlo Parentela, a restaurateur, event purveyor, executive producer, entrepreneur. He grew up in the hospitality and catering business where he became aware of the sociological aspects of the event industry. There should be a link where the customers can immediately leave a review. It shouldn’t be beyond one page. Whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, or email, leaving a review should be easy. Always remind the followers of different social media pages to write something good since they’re probably fans of the restaurant. Otherwise, they wouldn’t follow the pages.
Be nice to people who left negative reviews
Not everyone will say something good about the business. Some people will express frustrations and provide negative comments. It doesn’t mean that the business will just dismiss their concerns. Some of them might have valid concerns, and it’s important to show that the business cares. These people could be loyal guests, and they might not come back if the company didn’t address the problems expressed in the reviews. The first step is to acknowledge the mistake and apologize. Explain what happened and promise to do better. The company can also offer vouchers and coupons to use next time if they decide to dine in the restaurant. It’s a way of compensating them for what happened.
However, if these reviews are full of lies and inconsistencies, it’s still important to remain diplomatic. Analyze the issues raised and provide individual responses. Point out the reality and show that the concerns raised were either inappropriate or incorrect. It’s not only for the person who left the review, but other potential customers reading the exchange. They need to know what happened and also feel that the company cares about what the customers feel. Even if some of these reviews are infuriating because of the lies, it is essential to always be polite.
Restaurant reputation management is a priority
Business owners should consider getting help for restaurant reputation management from the experts a priority. Having a good reputation online can increase the number of potential customers. Given how people value reviews, they need to know that the business is perfect for them. Otherwise, they will look for other restaurants where they will get their money’s worth.