It is common knowledge that word-of-mouth is one of the most effective marketing strategies to draw traffic. In the digital world, word-of-mouth spreads via online reviews on your website or app store. Keeping track of such reviews can help restaurants understand the customer’s needs and customize their services accordingly. Over time, such reviews may lead to improving the restaurant’s business plan. It is, therefore, essential to keep a close eye on online reviews and explore innovative ways to help you improve your restaurant’s business plan.
How Can Online Reviews Help Restaurant Businesses To Grow?
As per a report, 94% of people in the United States, 90% in France, and 93% in Italy trust online reviews before trying any new restaurant. The number is comparable in other countries of the world too. A survey report found some stats that further prove the importance of considering online reviews:
- 82% of customers check online reviews, and out of the 52% are 18-54 years old.
- Around 53% of people can plan to go to a new restaurant even if its rating is less than four stars.
- Customers read at least ten reviews before trusting the local businesses.
The statistics mentioned above clearly reveal the importance of online reviews in the restaurant industry. In this article, we will help you develop an online review strategy to engage new customers and eventually grow your business.
7 Ways To Improve Restaurant Business Plan Using Online Reviews
Boost the reputation of your restaurant so you can reach more people and eventually improve your restaurant’s business plan by changing the way you look at online reviews. Here are some strategies that can help:
Ask And Respond To Feedback
You can elevate customer experience virtually, too, via online reviews. You can include a link to the survey or a review when they place an online order. You can also create a social media post and ask for feedback. When customers leave a review, they give time and effort to write their thoughts. Appreciate them and respond to all the reviews. When potential customers see reviews with your response, they will be encouraged to try out your restaurant.
Elevate Customer Experience
If you see any customer unhappy with food or services, try to do something that will make them happy. It can save you from bad reviews on online restaurant review sites. To elevate the customer experience, you can offer an apology, offer a complimentary dish, or give them a discount for the inconvenience. Keep in mind that if you let customers leave the restaurant unhappy, it will harm your reputation.
Reviews On The Floor
Many restaurants ask customers to review while they are still at the restaurant. Likely, the customer will not give negative reviews in your presence. Also, if they give a negative review, there is a chance to enhance their experience to leave the restaurant with a clear mind. You can ask them to fill up a form that you can share on social media platforms in the happy customer section. You can also leverage the power of technology and ask for feedback through phones; you can do this easily using a point of sale (POS) system.
It is recommended that you ask for feedback via phone as it will help you sync the information to your customer database and record it in real-time. Also, you can efficiently do the restaurant review management in the long run.
It will help if you gather customer feedback from multiple sources like websites and social media platforms. One bad review can toss the restaurant’s reputation and impact the loyal customer base. Make sure to study the reviews and offer services accordingly with all information.
For instance, if any customer had a bad restaurant experience. You can send a personalized response regarding how you plan to improve and what steps you have taken till now. And, also ask them to visit again for better services. It will help in building loyal customers.
Handle Negative Reviews Efficiently
Negative reviews break your heart and discourage you, especially when you put your best foot forward. Be humble, respectful, and make sure you express genuine concern over the customer’s bad experience. Never respond to negative reviews in an angry tone.
A disappointed customer wants to be heard. So, when you find any tactful negative reviews online regarding your restaurant, express a sincere apology. Never pass the opportunity to make things right and craft a personalized message to customers’ specific issues. Do the necessary changes, and it will improve your business.
Also, not every negative review needs your attention. Spot fake reviews by looking at phrase repetition across multiple reviews and checking the customer’s profile. You can report the profile as spam.
Reviews Through Food Influencers
Whenever we try a restaurant, we look for reviews and recommendations to check whether it’s worth trying out or not. An honest review from a trusted expert is helpful and can drive many customers to give it a try.
The detailed reviews by food influences can help customers regarding the menu and must-try food. It will also open room for improvement. You can also check the restaurant’s popularity and even launch new food dishes through them for restaurant marketing.
Maintain Good Online Reputation
Online reviews are deciding factors for customers. Maintain a good online rapport on various social media platforms, websites, and restaurant review sites. Run effective digital marketing campaigns for building a good reputation.
Remember that a happy customer will give positive reviews, so never let customers leave the restaurant unsatisfied and unhappy. Follow the above-mentioned points to offer exceptional services and build a loyal customer base by making online reviews work for you instead of letting them work against you.