Online Review Tips for Restaurants

There’s no doubt these days that online reviews are a critical part of any business, but they’re even more so for restaurants, coffee shops and cafes. They impact customer decision making in a big way. Did you know 60 percent of people read reviews before choosing a restaurant? That’s compared with only 40 percent for hotels and 33 percent for health care professionals. Thus, the stakes are much higher for restaurants and the people who frequent them.

Take a look at the Harvard Business School study which revealed that an increase of just one star to a rating on Yelp can lead to a nine percent increase in revenue for a restaurant. Are you a restaurant owner? You should take notice. Securing more online reviews is crucial, but how can you do it? Check out these tips to establishing a five-star online review process.

Capturing More Online Reviews

It’s still OK to continue to ask patrons to leave feedback when they’re done eating at your establishment, by giving out physical cards or by providing a link to an online site on the receipt. You could snag a small group of people that way, maybe older patrons. Just don’t be pushy. You may want to offer them something off their next meal, like $5 or five percent for leaving feedback. Just be sure to make the process as organic as possible without forcing anything on anyone.

Getting people to share reviews on social media is an even better bet. Yelp and Facebook, two of the top trusted review sites online, boast 40.47 million and 85.57 million in monthly traffic, respectively. This means you have to stay active on these platforms to capitalize on any and all opportunities. When you appear in your customers’ feeds, they’re more likely to leave feedback about your service, even if it’s just a couple of lines.

Another way to garner reviews is to provide awesome service. Memorable customer experiences often bring about positive online reviews. Today’s smart consumers don’t just give reviews for no reason. They must really feel passionately about their experience, either positively or negatively. So, capture them with superior service levels that give them no choice but to rave about you.

Text Messages

It’s underutilized but it’s still pretty effective in collecting feedback: text messaging. With about a 100 percent open rate, engaging with your customers has never been so easy. Sure, you may already utilize this platform for reservation reminders and notifications of available tables, but it’s time to take it to the next level: via text, ask patrons to click a link and leave a quick review.

Not only is text less intrusive than email and phone, it’s more likely to elicit the desired action. Plus, it’s easy and requires minimal work on their part. Just don’t abuse the system. Keep your customer communications to a minimum or risk over-saturating them and making them frustrated.

Challenges with Feedback

Two main challenges exist when it comes to getting online reviews and feedback:

  • Restaurant owners hardly ever ask for them. It’s not enough for your servers to ask how the meals were. It’s really not a shareable moment because no one else will find out about the answers. How will anyone else know they were raving about the steak tips and mashed potatoes if they don’t actively go online and chat about it? On top of that, not everyone is completely honest when asked about the meal. Many say “great” when it wasn’t even close. They’re trying to be polite.
  • No one wants to be bothered to give feedback. It involves taking time out of their day to go online, type in the URL, sign in and leave feedback. That’s probably why the traditional feedback survey response rates stagnate at just two percent.

Contact Boost Reviews

Snagging five-star reviews can be made easier when you have the help of Boost Reviews behind you. Grow your reputation and get stars in your ads with us! Request a callback today.

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