Managing a restaurant is a challenging task. Curating the perfect menu, training the staff, and keeping customers happy are just a few of the many things that restaurant owners and managers have to worry about.
But there is one factor that can make or break a restaurant's success: its online reputation.
Online reviews and ratings have a major impact on a restaurant's reputation. Thanks to social media and online directories, it's easier than ever for customers to share their experiences with others.
Just one negative review or comment can quickly spiral into a PR nightmare, thus damaging your restaurant's brand and deterring potential customers.
On the other hand, a strong online reputation is a great marketing tool that attracts more diners and drives revenue.
As the popularity of your restaurant increases, the amount of spam comments and negative reviews will also increase. So, it becomes more important than ever to deal with them in a way that doesn't harm your restaurant's reputation further.
Let’s look into the top tips for restaurant reputation management that will help you increase your restaurant revenue not just in 2023 but also in the years to come.
Table Of Contents:
- The Benefits Of Restaurant Reputation Management
- Top Restaurant Reputation Management Tips
- Your Restaurant's Reputation Matters!
You can directly jump to a section of your choice or keep scrolling
The Benefits Of Restaurant Reputation Management
- 90% of people research restaurants online before making a dining decision.
- Consumers were more likely to visit a restaurant with a 4.5-star rating than one with a 2.5-star rating.
- Guests are willing to spend 31% more at restaurants with excellent reviews.
- 92% of potential visitors are more likely to book a reservation at a restaurant after reading a positive review.
- Search engines give more weight to local searches based on positive reviews.
- Restaurants with a review score of 1 or 2 stars get only about 13% of the customers they would if the score were 3 stars or higher.
Top Restaurant Reputation Management Tips
Claim Your Restaurant’s Profiles
Most restaurants already have profiles on popular review websites. These profiles are the foundation of your restaurant's online reputation.
Make a list of all the websites where your restaurant has a profile. Claim each profile to ensure that competitors or hackers cannot change your business information.
The benefits of claiming your restaurant's online profiles:
- You can control the information displayed about your business, including your restaurant's name, address, phone number, hours of operation, and website.
- You can respond to customer reviews to show customers that you value their feedback and that you are committed to providing a good experience.
- You can improve your restaurant's visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). When your restaurant's profile is claimed and verified, it is more likely to appear in SERPs when people mostly search for restaurants like yours.
Update The Information You Have Online
Once you have claimed your restaurant's profiles on review websites, update the information that's available on them. This includes basic information like your restaurant’s address, phone number, and business hours, as well as more specific information like your menu, accessibility, ambiance, and accepted credit cards.
Add high-quality photos of your restaurant's interior, exterior, and popular dishes.
The more information you provide potential diners, the better decision they can make about whether to visit your restaurant.
Remove Spam Comments Promptly
While social media is a great place to collect honest customer feedback, it is also a target for spammers who want to steal attention from your audience.
Spam comments not just hampers user engagement and experience, it also damages your brand use image. While social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer some native spam management features, they may not be effective enough.
But Statusbrew allows you to automatically delete or prevent comments with certain words from appearing on your Facebook and Instagram organic or paid posts. This can help you to keep your social media content clean and spam-free.
Here are some ways to use Statusbrew's comment moderation to manage spam on your restaurant's social media:
- Remove profanity. Profane comments can offend potential customers and damage your brand image. Use a rule to delete or hide all comments that contain profanity automatically.
- Target network-specific spam. Different types of spam are common on different social networks. For example, fake reviews are more common on Yelp, while scams are more common on Facebook. Use rules to target the specific types of spam that are most common on your restaurant's social media pages.
- Tag spam. This will help you to track the amount of spam you are getting on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis and make sure that your rules are working correctly.
Thus, if you want to keep your restaurant's social media content clean and spam-free to build a positive reputation and attract more customers, you can take a FREE 14-day trial of Statusbrew to start clearing the clutter!
Reply To Negative Reviews & Comments Swiftly
When a customer provides feedback through any channel (in person, feedback card, website contact form, email, phone), it is important to respond to their complaint as soon as possible.
Responding quickly shows the customer that you have heard them and are taking their concerns seriously. A good rule of thumb is to respond to customer concerns within 24-48 hours (and that's what we follow at Statusbrew).
If you do not respond promptly to a customer's complaint and start to resolve the issue, they may leave a negative online review.
So, we have a solution for you here. In Statusbrew, you can create a rule to move all negative sentiment conversations to a new inbox and notify your team members about any new conversation that lands in that inbox. This way, you can quickly identify and address customer concerns before they escalate.
This will help you to improve your customer service and reduce negative feedback. It can also help you to protect your reputation and build trust with your customers.
To protect your restaurant's reputation from razing, you need to be able to identify and respond to negative customer feedback quickly. Here's how Statusbrew can help you tackle negative customer reviews:
- Create a dedicated Inbox View for customer feedback. Like Inbox for positive customer reviews or negative customer reviews or reviews for specific use cases like regarding timing, food quality, customer service, etc.
- Use filters to organize your customer feedback. For example, you can filter your reviews by sentiment (positive, negative, or neutral), by topic (food, service, atmosphere, etc.), or by location.
- Assign team members to specific Inbox Views. This way, everyone on your team is responsible for responding to the type of feedback that they are most qualified to answer.
- Set up notifications for specific Inbox Views. This way, you will be alerted whenever you receive new customer feedback that needs your attention.
Here's what more you can do with Statusbrew to manage negative sentiment conversations:
- You can quickly and easily identify all negative sentiment conversations, even if they are scattered across multiple social media platforms.
- You can assign negative sentiment conversations to specific team members for follow-up.
- You can track the progress of negative sentiment conversations and ensure that they are resolved in a timely and satisfactory manner.
- You can generate reports on negative sentiment conversations to identify trends and areas for improvement.
If you want to learn more about how we can help you, book a FREE demo with us to explore the possibilities of the platform.
If you use an online contact form or email, you can set up an auto-responder to send an automated acknowledgment message. In fact, you can even set up auto-replies to Facebook comments.
Use Social Listening
You can use social listening to identify customer feedback, both positive and negative. You can use this feedback to improve your restaurant business in many ways.
For example, if customers complain about your wait times, you may want to hire more staff. Or, if customers are praising your food, you may want to promote that food on your social media pages.
- Track your brand mentions on social media.
- Set up alerts for specific keywords to be notified immediately when someone mentions your restaurant online.
- Use sentiment analysis to identify the tone of customer feedback. This will help you to understand how customers are feeling about your restaurant.
- Track your competitors' brand mentions to identify what customers are saying about your competitors, both positive and negative, and use this information to improve your own restaurant business.
- Stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in your industry by setting up alerts for your industry keywords.
- Many people use social media to request restaurant recommendations from friends and followers. Track these keywords to identify people looking for a new restaurant to try.
Understand The Voice Of Your Customer
As a restaurant owner, you can learn what your customers are thinking and feeling by paying attention to the words they use, the topics they talk about online, and the social media buzz around their restaurant. Sentiment analysis exactly helps you know this information to be used to create marketing campaigns that bring higher ROI.
You can also use sentiment analysis to track customer satisfaction over time. This will help you to identify trends and patterns in your customer feedback. For example, if you notice that customer satisfaction has decreased in recent months, you should investigate the cause of the decline and take steps to address it.
Lastly, sentiment analysis can be used to identify positive customer feedback and testimonials, which you can use in your marketing and advertising materials.
Use a sentiment analysis tool like Statusbrew that automatically assigns sentiment to all conversations, which you can also change manually if you notice any inaccuracy. Then, you can draw sentiment reports to identify how your customers feel about your restaurant.
Examine & Analyze Your Online Reviews
According to a BrightLocal survey, 91% of consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Online reviews have a significant impact on restaurant revenue. For example, a one-star rating hike on Yelp can lead to a 5-9% increase in your revenue.
Positive reviews are just as important for your restaurants as they give customers a complete picture including taste, ambiance, price, and service.
Restaurants should monitor and analyze online reviews to identify trends and areas for improvement.
In addition to encouraging customers to leave reviews, restaurants should also strike a balance between positive and negative reviews. A few negative reviews can make your restaurant appear more credible and trustworthy. At the same time, hundreds or thousands of negative reviews can damage your restaurant's reputation.
Restaurants should also understand their customer demographics because customer demographics are closely linked to their reputation. For example, if your restaurant is constantly criticized for its culture, ambiance, or taste, it may not be targeting the right audience.
Restaurants should understand their customers' age, gender, preferred cuisine, dining habits, and spending habits. This information will help you create an atmosphere that is liked by your target customers.
If your restaurant is getting good reviews, it should analyze the reviewers' demographics to understand why they like what they like. This information will help you personalize your messages and direct customers to leave reviews on the right review sites.
Statusbrew's reporting feature helps you to:
- Track and analyze your online reviews from the major review sites in one place.
- Identify trends in their online reviews.
- Understand the demographics of your customers who are leaving online reviews.
- Understand what your competitors are doing well and poorly, so that you can work on their shortcomings to increase your revenue
And if you are worried about losing your past data when shifting to a new tool, we provide data backfill also.
Solicit New Reviews From Guests
One of the best ways to stand out from the competition online is to have a higher rating and more positive reviews than them.
To see how your restaurant compares with other restaurants, check out the ratings and number of reviews for similar restaurants. These are now your goals to beat. If you are already ahead, make sure you are consistently adding new positive reviews to maintain your advantage.
Collect your customer's information, such as their first name, phone number, or email address on their first visit to your restaurant, and send them a follow-up message after their visit.
Train your staff on how to properly ask for reviews in person, including which platform(s) you would like customers to leave their feedback on.
Clean Up Old Reviews
Restaurants often have high employee turnover and their management and menus change, so a bad online review from two years ago may no longer be relevant. But, it can still show up in search results and deter potential customers.
While some reviews can be removed, it is better to focus on improving your restaurant's online reputation by generating new, positive reviews.
Focus on freshness. Google's algorithm prioritizes new reviews over old ones, so a steady stream of positive reviews will help to push down old negative reviews.
Your Restaurant's Reputation Matters!
As the restaurant industry becomes more competitive, it is more important than ever for restaurants to maintain a clean and positive reputation.
That's why many restaurateurs are investing in reputation management softwares to help them improve their online reputation. This is a worthwhile investment, as it helps restaurants attract and retain customers.
If you are unsure of how a reputation management software can help you manage your restaurant's online reputation, book a FREE demo! In fact, we also offer a 14 day trial for our software to test if we would be the perfect fit for you.