4 Tips to Increase Your Restaurant’s Online Reviews

4 Tips to Increase Your Restaurant’s Online Reviews4 Tips to Increase Your Restaurant’s Online Reviews

We’ve come to a point in consumerism where customers, regardless of what they’re shopping for, are equipped to pass judgment on your product or business before experiencing a single thing for themselves. How? Online reviews. They’re the powerhouse narrative that can make or break your success. In fact, we’ve reported on the statistic that 60% of customers are reading online reviews before picking which restaurant to try; 40% are looking for hotel reviews; and 33% are researching healthcare professionals. How can you increase your online reviews and attract new business? We’ll let you in on 4 tips to increase your restaurant’s online reviews.

  1. Do Your Research

These days, there are countless places where customers can post online reviews. Where are your customers going to access and publicize opinions? Hint: The most popular platforms people tend to utilize are Yelp, Google, Facebook, and TripAdvisor. You also don’t need to be shy about talking to your network of business owners and learning from their experience, or even engaging directly with your customer base. How did they hear about you? Where are they likely to go first when seeking reviews?

Once you’ve done your research, create a profile for your restaurant on those sites.

  1. Make Yourself Known Online

You need an online presence. It’s non-negotiable today. You’ve created your profile on a slew of review sites, but now what? You need an attractive, easily accessible (and mobile friendly!) website that includes your digital menu and preferably an option to make an online reservation. A strong social media presence is preferable as well, from Facebook and Instagram to LinkedIn and Twitter. Have an email list you send regular newsletters to? That’s also part of your digital profile—and any form of digital communication is absolutely necessary for the success of your business. You have to make yourself known in order to make your reviews happen.

  1. Solicit Feedback

There’s no need to be shy about flat-out asking your customers to write a review. You don’t have to do it in person—it can be through an emailed newsletter or even on the bottom of their receipt. Offer an incentive for folks who share their thoughts. Be sure to make it simple (i.e. give them a direct URL) to really streamline the process.

  1. Be Responsive—Regardless

No one likes to read negative things about their business or the poor experience a customer may have had, but it’s a fact of life: You can’t win ‘em all. That being said, we’re not assuming your restaurant will receive a ton of negative feedback. But regardless of the positivity or negativity a patron has put out to the public on a review site, you can control the narrative by responding to everyone’s (or almost everyone’s) posts. How you handle negative feedback can go a long way in creating a reputation of understanding and accommodation. In fact, Harvard Business School reports that “a one-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5-9 percent increase in revenue.” Additionally, Google reports that when businesses respond to their online reviews, it will not only build trust with your customers, but with the search engine itself.

Following the above steps is a surefire way to increase your digital presence and online customer reviews. And all this could result in a major increase in revenue for your business. So get out there, make yourself known, and watch the positive vibes roll in.