Online reviews are becoming more important than ever as customers rely on them to find the best places to eat. Many guests consider dining out at a restaurant a special occasion. People want to be able to have a memorable experience and know as much as possible about the restaurant before they go. Positive online reviews are vitally important.
It’s easier than ever to collect this information thanks to sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp. Online reviews play a significant role in determining whether new customers will come to your tables.
You will need to increase positive reviews online to keep your restaurant’s reputation intact and attract new customers.
HOW TO INCREASE POSITIVE ONLINE RESTAURANT REVIEWS IN 6 STEPS
These tips will help you increase the positive reviews of your online restaurant and make it a success.
1. REVIEW YOUR REGULARS.
If you have loyal customers and a strong relationship with them, you can reach them and ask them to leave positive reviews online. This is best done in person after a memorable dining experience.
Online reviews can be a natural extension of the positive relationships you have built with customers. Your regular customers will likely be eager to spread the word about your favorite restaurant so make sure you are polite and kind.
2. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS w/ YOUR CLIENTELE
What happens if your business is new and doesn’t have regular customers? It’s time for you to build a loyal customer base. It’s important to note the guests who compliment the manager or owner at the end of each meal, as well as those who return multiple times.
A guestbook that includes client profiles and an up-to-date guestbook is an excellent way to keep track of your new regulars. Once you have identified your top potential fans, it is important to establish a relationship with them and encourage your managers to do so. To show your appreciation for their business, you might send them a small digestif or an appetizer every once in a while.
Once you have established relationships, you can invite them to your online business support, again using the gentle power of suggestion.
3. SOFTWARE THAT ENCOURAGES REVIEWS PARTNERS
You might consider partnering with a software program such as OpenTable, which not only manages your reservation book but also prompts guests to review their dining experience via email. Customers are more likely to leave reviews if they receive a reminder right in their inbox after enjoying a delicious meal.
This software also ensures that reviews are written by people who have actually eaten at the restaurant. You can also invite former diners to leave reviews if you don’t want to partner with the outside reservation system.
4. ENGAGE WITH EXISTING POSITIVE REVIEWS
The online community is all about engagement and creating community — even in the world of reviews! You can take a few moments each week to thank others for the positive reviews they have received. Existing reviewers will appreciate the connection and be more likely to return to your business. Potential reviewers will be more inclined to leave feedback if they feel they can make a personal connection with the owner. This is one of the best ways to increase positive reviews online for a restaurant.
5. UPDATE YOUR PROFILES
Check that your business profiles are current with accurate business information and attractive photographs.
Customers won’t leave reviews if a company’s website isn’t up-to-date or inactive. As part of your branding and marketing strategy, monitor your online presence and make any necessary changes.
6. SETTING UP A REVIEW STATION
Set up a review station equipped with an iPad so that customers can leave reviews before they leave your restaurant. Customers will be more likely to leave reviews if the process is quick and easy. This route is recommended, but you should be aware of the review sites available at your station. Some review sites can penalize businesses for having too many reviews.
There is always room for improvement in your restaurant’s growth and development, no matter where you are at. The key to increasing positive reviews about your restaurant online is to provide amazing food and exceptional service. Customers who love your business will support it and be willing to help in any way they can.