Gone are the days when restaurant owners dreaded the words restaurant review. Restaurant reviews before, in default, are statements that are set to attack the restaurant and its management, but now it’s used as a strategy to help the restaurant.
As the behavior of the market continues in changing, so is the way of how the Restaurant Industry operates. It managed to adapt to the different demands and trends that the market is throwing at them. There were times that restaurant reviews were ignored statements, but in the present time, it’s treated as an important tool by the whole industry.
WHAT IS A RESTAURANT REVIEW
Restaurant review is a statement that tackles the customer’s experience with a restaurant and its management. It just doesn’t discuss the flavor and presentation of the food, it also covers the atmosphere, speed of service, staff attentiveness and knowledge, and the general impression about the establishment.
Starting from the word of mouth to digital posting, restaurant review can make or break your system. It’s a powerful tool that the customers have. That’s why it’s critical for a restaurant owner to know how to use this tool to their own benefit.
Keep in mind, people trust people. And with the help of the internet, customers tend to be influenced by what other people are saying about a restaurant. At the end of the day, those reviews, be it exaggerated or not, will appear true because people will assume that they came from the ones who already experienced the restaurant’s service.
Read along as this article discusses the importance of a restaurant review and where to find the trusted ones.
WHERE TO FIND RESTAURANT REVIEWS
Information is now being forced on everyone, whether you like it or not, customers will stumble on a review or information about your restaurant. Here are the most common platforms where customers look for a restaurant review:
- Print Media – Magazines, Newspaper, Books, Brochures
- Social Media Platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
- Review Sites Channels – Yelp, Tripadvisor, Opentable
- Word of Mouth – cheapest yet most effective in influencing other customers.
WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANCE OF MONITORING YOUR ONLINE RESTAURANT REVIEWS
Remember that restaurant reviews are not there just to be monitored, you have to be proactively responding to them in order to let your customers know that their views are being valued. This is one way to get their loyalty to your restaurant.
IT SERVES AS A LEARNING TOOL FOR THE MANAGEMENT
Running a restaurant is a very demanding task and there’s no way you can ask each of your customers how the food, service, and their experience go. This is where monitoring your restaurant review comes handy.
Yes, there may be reviews that seem a bit exaggerated but there are also valuable feedback which you can use to improve your operations and management. If you observed that there’s consistent complaints about your service or your food, maybe it’s time to look into it and start to work where there’s a need of improvement.
IT PROTECTS YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION
Modern diners are dependent on the internet for almost everything, and the online reputation of a restaurant really affects their decision-making skills on whether they’ll go for your restaurant or not. It is important to respond to your online restaurant reviews as this is also one way to let your customers know that you are open to their reviews and you give value to what they have to say.
After all, though you have a strong online presence, it will be no good if it is because of unattended negative reviews about your restaurant.
IT HELPS WITH THE GROWTH OF REVENUE
There’s a study that an additional star in a restaurant’s rating makes about 5% to 6% increase in that restaurant’s revenue, and with the growing dependency of customers to the internet, this actually is not surprising at all.
Customers would surely want to try out a 5-star rated restaurant rather than a 2.5-star rated establishment.
IT INCREASES CUSTOMER LOYALTY
Modern diners love to feel that they are being valued. If you’re constantly attending their online restaurant reviews to the different review sites, it’ll give them a sense of importance. This way you’re also showing that you’re reaching out to them and eventually, a good relationship will be built between your restaurant and your customers.
Everyone wants the feeling of being needed, if you show your customers that their restaurant reviews help your restaurant in any way, it’ll deliver the customer delight needed.
IT ATTRACTS POTENTIAL CUSTOMER
People act based on what other people are saying. If your restaurant reviews are full of “don’t go there”, there’s a great chance that customers won’t be flocking to your restaurant. That’s why it is important to respond to every review, positive or negative, because it shows that you’re willing to adjust and improve, to do what’s needed to be done, especially with your online takeaway ordering system.
TOP TRUSTED RESTAURANT REVIEW PLATFORMS
With its 2.45 billion users, it is not surprising that customers will always check out a restaurant’s Facebook page to help them decide on whether your restaurant is worth it or not.
One thing not to miss also with this platform, is the comment section. Make sure to always give it a quick run-through and don’t miss any important sentiment.
- GOOGLE (Google My Business)
Google is the largest search engine, it is always the first website customers look into if they are looking for something. Best pizza restaurant? Let’s check out Google.
That’s why it is crucial for every restaurant owner to keep their rankings high with Google, as it literally put their restaurant into the map (Google Map). As this website caters to a much larger customer base, from every generation, a restaurant review from Google is much more visible than to every platform there is.
This platform is mainly used for online reservations. Customers who used this platform would receive an email from Opentable asking them to provide a restaurant review from their dine in experience. Though you can’t publicly respond to such reviews, there’s an option for you to contact the author of the review via private message.
In order to be included in their inventory, sign up your restaurant with their online reservations system and pay monthly charges.
Yelp is one of the most established restaurant review platforms. It actually acts as the customer’s “help” in deciding which is the best restaurant for their particular cravings. This platform is considered as a top review site that’s been backed up by its million monthly users.
Even if your restaurant is not from a tourist spot, Tripadvisor could still be a big help for you. Any idea how many travelers search for “restaurant near me” or “food near me”? Huge number!
Also, this platform conducts rankings for restaurants and online reservations. A good restaurant review from Tripadvisor will serve as a magnet for tourists and travelers looking for what’s best in your area. Drive a huge number of travelers into your restaurant by listing up to this platform.
Also known as Urbanspoon, Zomato is also a well known restaurant review platform. It allows you to showcase your ratings to other platforms, and you can post your listing to your social media, and website as well. It also displays your menu where customers and potential customers can have a quick look.
Known as one of the first restaurant review and ranking platforms, Zagat lets the customers rate the restaurant in food, service, ambiance, and cost. This all-around approach makes it a good source for customers looking for authentic reviews, and to stay updated with trends in the market.
It also has a subsidiary called The Infatuation. It mainly appeals to the younger generation and it even has an option where you can chat for a real-time-location-based restaurant recommendation.
This platform consists of travel experts and experienced restaurant critics that writes the restaurant review for a particular establishment. It is recognized globally and a good review from this platform would surely serve as a good back-up for your restaurant.
WAYS ON HOW TO MANAGE YOUR RESTAURANT REVIEW WEBSITE LISTING
- Always update your restaurant’s information.
- Set notifications for new reviews.
- Provide a response as quickly as possible.
- Respond politely.
Being a restaurateur, you’re already aware that there are things you can’t control. Restaurant reviews will be thrown at you whether you permit it or not. And like everything that’s out of your control, you have to continuously look at how it will benefit your restaurant and use it to your advantage.