Why Online Review Management Is Crucial for Restaurant Success
Let’s start with a basic assumption: consumers read Google reviews when choosing a new restaurant making online review management crucial for your restaurant’s success.
Let’s say a consumer is looking for a restaurant to go to on a Saturday night for a date. He types in “best restaurants for dates.” He sees the reviews that say “dates” and he then decides to pick the one with the highest star rating – in this case, it’s Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf in Chicago.
As a restaurant owner, you should make online review management a priority. You have to monitor your online reviews. It’s important to pay close attention to reviews to build and manage a positive online brand reputation to get customers to your stores. Online reviews are only growing as a key resource for consumers when finding a new business.
According to the 2018 ReviewTrackers Online Reviews Survey:
- 5 percent of consumers say reviews are influential when choosing a new restaurant, which means more than half of consumers are looking at reviews when searching for a new place to dine.
- 6 percent of consumers say they are likely to check online reviews on Google before visiting a business, which makes Google the most popular review site.
- 14 is the average star rating for a restaurant.
- 43 percent of restaurant guests say they are likely to write a positive review after a positive experience with a restaurant. This means if you provide a great guest experience, your guests will respond on social media and review sites.
So, you have reviews and a decent star rating. Is that enough? Probably not. Restaurant owners need to make sure they have a steady, consistent flow of new reviews – and make sure mostly positive reviews are coming in.
How do you get more reviews?
To get more reviews, ask happy customers to write reviews.
For Google reviews, for example, send customers an email after their experience with a link that directs them to the right page where they can leave a Google review, so it’s as easy as possible for customers to write a review. Asking customers for reviews via email can be done for any site where you want customers to write reviews.
How do you get better reviews? Listen to your customers.
Online review management provides insight into the customer experience.
When Andy Moore, director of communications at 1950s-style diner Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes, and Fries, analyzed reviews of the fast-casual franchise locations, he found an issue that he didn’t know about: waitresses were not getting to the tables in a reasonable amount of time after guests first sat down.
“That enabled us to make that a priority in our training and onboarding process,” he said. “We also used the opportunity to remind everyone in a companywide email on the steps to greeting a customer and serving him or her as quickly as we can.”
If you read one section from this article…
Because more than of half of consumers report they use reviews when finding a restaurant, review management should be a priority in your marketing strategy. Review management takes dedication to listening to the customer: ask for reviews and use that insight to improve the customer experience. Show the customer you care. Success will follow.
This article was written by Megan Wenzl, the associate editor at ReviewTrackers, an award-wining customer feedback software that helps businesses transform the customer experience. Megan is a writer who enjoys sharing useful information to help businesses succeed.