Restaurant reviews are a direct reflection of your restaurant’s reputation.
Reviews provide credibility and social proof - as social creatures, we are interested in the opinions of others in order to help us as consumers with our purchasing decisions. Customers know what to expect when choosing restaurants with positive reviews and vice versa. Would a restaurant with 30 4-5 star ratings be considered equal to competitors with say 20 3-star ratings?
Being able to instill trust and to show that you are a dependable restaurant is exactly the importance of online restaurant reviews. It helps with reputation marketing, an approach utilizing your brand reputation to be seen as trustworthy and a “go-to”.
According to a survey conducted by Brightlocal, 79 per cent of consumers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. Nearly 9 out of 10 customers read and seek other customer reviews online to determine the quality of the business,. Therefore it is crucial that your restaurant has a good online presence and positive reviews.
Expert review site Reevo’s research shows that the presence of online reviews produces an 18& average increase in sales. This form of social proof can help strengthen a restaurant’s credibility, which then influences consumer decisions, leading to an impact in sales.
Positive reviews are helpful instruments in attracting customers to visit your restaurant. Additionally, when your positive reviews greatly outnumber negative ones (if any), it could potentially convince potential customers who have previously decided against visiting your restaurant otherwise and reconsider. As a result, sales in your restaurant can increase as reviews invite more potential customers.
Knowing the impact that online restaurant reviews have on sales and on your business, how can you leverage this? It would be wise to implement strategies to drive and increase online restaurant reviews to further boost your restaurant’s performance. Here are a few to consider:
Is your business visible on Google, Yelp or any other review platform? It is important to not just have profiles and platforms for people to review but to be present on them. If people leave reviews and comments, reply to them and interact with them, whether they are positive or negative. This provides a sense to the customers that you are listening to them, and that you care about your customers’ experiences and want to improve.
Having many guest reviews on your site also reflects on you. If there is one unsatisfied guest with a 1-star rating, but you have tens or dozens giving 4 or 5 star ratings, sure you may have a dip on your overall score, but it wouldn’t be too significant. Having many reviews can help you with that one bad review. To do this, you can have a QR code at your table or on your receipt asking for a review.
And don’t forget to leverage your frequent guests for reviews. These are your superstars and your ambassadors, and their feedback will be valuable to your business - learning how you can continue to have repeat guests.
If you really want to build and increase positive online reviews for your restaurant, here’s what you should do:
You need to identify the factors that are mentioned in the reviews that are impacting your restaurant. It could be negative reviews that your customers left online or maybe even the fact that no reviews are given at all.
This gives you a chance to think about the feedback given and how to improve on them. For example, let’s assume you have many negative reviews online talking about your menu availability (items or dishes always run out). You’ve identified your issue, now it is time to strategize. How can we do that?
Let’s take the previous example. You’ve identified your issue : food items on the menu always run out. In order to solve this, you want to make sure you have enough of the ingredients for the items on your menu so that this will no longer be a problem and that you can address those negative reviews.
Therefore, we really need to have good stock and inventory management. Educate employees to do daily audits or inspections on stock and inventory availability and report immediately if there are any low-stock ingredients on a certain menu. Then, we can track all of the issues and assign related teams or departments to help solve the issue as soon as possible, so we won’t run out of stock.
Also read: how to increase profit with effective inventory management
To prevent issues regarding stock and inventory, leveraging a platform with an issue tracking feature could be key. Should issues like this arise in your restaurant, it can be raised and reported in real-time, and management can take immediate action.
Enable your employees to digitalize their daily audits and inspections,and report immediately if there are ingredients that are low in inventory. The assigned department will handle the issue and resolve this. Investing in such a platform can be beneficial for restaurants in the long-run as not only is it efficient and can help save costs, but it can help with your customer experience and create an impact in sales.
Nimbly can help you manage your restaurant operations and help you reap the benefits through its solution. Aside from the issue tracker and digitalized checklists, its analytics dashboard provides a helicopter view of where management can have a helicopter-view of the performance of each outlet and each crew member in real-time. Historical data and trends can be analyzed to make informed decisions into your business. Frontline workers can report issues directly via the app, and management can access the inspection reports in real-time, identify critical issues and make immediate decisions. Issue cards are automatically generated if conditions in the field do not follow the predetermined SOPs.