Nowadays mostly all customers visit a restaurant website or the various restaurant review sites before they actually make their mind about visiting a restaurant. This makes it imperative for all restaurants to maintain an optimum image on these platforms. Since food and experience is a very relative concept you can come across customers who might not be very delighted with the services you provided, or there are a large group of freeloaders who visits a restaurant and just to have free foods and blog about the same. In such a difficult age, maintaining a healthy reputation on the online restaurant review sites become extremely important.
Providing a stellar customer service is probably the best way you can satisfy your customers and encourage them to give your restaurant a positive review. Apart from this, respond to reviews, encourage positive reviews, try and take the customer reviews on the floor of the restaurant itself, these will help you to maintain a rather healthy image on the restaurant review sites.
How to Encourage Positive Reviews on Restaurant Review Sites
Garnering positive reviews is by far the most difficult things that a restaurant has to deal with on a daily basis. In order to counter the intervention of the social media influencers, negative reviews or the fake reviews which are on the massive rise, restaurants are often seen to brainstorm a lot.
However, there are 4 effective ways by which you can keep the negative reviews at the bay and encourage positive reviews from your customers which will further increase the credibility of your restaurant on the various restaurant review sites.
1. Respond to Reviews
Once getting listed on the restaurant review sites and not keeping a check and not responding to the reviews is the biggest blunder that you can do. You must always be very responsive on all these restaurant review sites and acknowledge all the reviews that customers post about your restaurant.
While good reviews must be appreciated and acknowledged, bad reviews must not be turned a deaf ear to. Acknowledge the fact that a certain customer had a bad experience at your restaurant, apologies and assure the customer to have a delightful experience when he visits your restaurant the next time. Offer a free coupon, or a certain amount of discount to get him back at your restaurant, just to turn his bad experience into a good one. Not only will this help in changing his perception of your restaurant, it will also help you in retaining them and they might just take down the review that they had posted about your restaurant before.
2. Encourage Positive Reviews
Delivering a stellar guest experience is one of the basic prerequisites of making your customers happy. If you see that a certain customer is unhappy, try and do something while they are at your restaurant that will change their mind and will save you from receiving a bad review from them on the online restaurant review sites.
For example, they might not be happy with the behavior of a certain staff, or a particular dish might not have lived up to their expectations. Whatever the reason may be, apologize to them while they are still at your restaurant and offer them a complimentary dish or a 10% discount on their next visit. Remember letting a customer leave your restaurant with an unhappy mind and an unhappy stomach can be very detrimental to your restaurant’s reputation.
3. Handle the Reviews on the Floor
Instead of waiting for your customers to review your restaurant after they go home, try and make them review you while they are still at your restaurant. Many restaurants follow this technique. You can either have a form which they can fill up, where they can share their experience at your restaurant. or with the technology creeping into in the F&B space you can take refuge to tables or phone feedback as well.
We would recommend you to go for the latter since the former involves a lot of manual tasks and it will be all offline, for example recording all the information from the forms on the CRM can be a handful of a task and hence might easily be overlooked and neglected. On the contrary, if the feedback is taken on a tablet or a phone, it becomes easy, since you can sync the app to your customer database and all your customer’s details can get registered in real-time.
According to the customer psychology, it is likely that a customer might not give you a bad review while still being in your restaurant. While on the other hand when they do give you always have the chance to undo the wrongdoings and let them leave your restaurant with a satiated mind and stomach!
4. Keep your Eyes and Ears Open
As a restaurant it is essentially important for you to maintain a good image and create a credible outlook, that will help the customers to choose you over the other restaurants in the market. Hence, it is important that you keep your eyes and your ears open, and know where and who is speaking about your restaurant. This should not be restricted to the restaurant review sites, you should keep a diligent eye on your facebook reviews, and other social media pages. This is important since any sort of reviews anywhere can have an influence on your customer who comes across them and reviews your restaurant on the restaurant review sites.
It is recommended that you keep a PR team who will look after the reputation of your restaurant only on the restaurant review sites but on the social media platforms as well.
When the entire world is on the web now, it becomes highly imperative for you to maintain the hygiene of your reviews on the restaurant review sites. Hence, memorize the above-mentioned points rather well, provide an exceptional customer service and see how good and positive reviews come flowing in.