Restaurant reputation management is one of the most important aspects of owning and operating a successful restaurant. This is important because your reputation, and specifically your online reputation, will always go before you. This online reputation includes your online reviews which directly impact the decisions of potential customers. While you can’t ensure that you only receive good reviews, you can control how you handle the bad reviews. Get started on taking control of your restaurant’s reputation with these few tips!
Keep Your Online Profiles Updated
While of course your food and service are both integral parts of the customer experience, your online presence is also a crucial part of your restaurant’s success. Your restaurant’s digital existence includes your website, Google business page, your social media accounts, and beyond, which makes keeping them each up to date essential. Make sure you keep these items current and coherent across all of your online profiles:
- Business name
- Business location
- Business website
- Operating hours
- Menu listing
- Media, such as images and video
Another thing to consider is looking to see if your business is included on other restaurant review sites like Yelp. If you find your restaurant on a random online directory, you can go ahead and claim the profile so you can make changes, update the site when needed, and respond to reviews.
Respond to Online Reviews
If you are already taking the time to read the reviews you receive, you should also make an effort to respond to them. Not only can your responses potentially change the customers’ minds, but also shows other potential customers that you care enough to respond in a courteous way. If a potential customer happens to see a negative review, but also sees your courteous response, there is a better chance they will still attend your restaurant than if the comment was left ignored.
Ask for Reviews Regularly
Asking for reviews is always a great idea! If your satisfied customers aren’t feeling led to leave your restaurant reviews, mentioning leaving a review could be helpful to getting positive reviews. Here are a few of the easiest ways to ask your customers to leave a review:
Hopefully, your customer database is integrated with a third party email marketing platform because this makes creating a review solicitation email campaign quick and easy. Once you’ve crafted your list, write a short email and add some links to a few of your review profiles. This will take customers directly to your account to leave a rating and review.
Email campaigns are incredibly useful, but it’s also helpful to try a text message campaign as well. Text messages are a lot more likely to be opened than emails, which is why they have the potential to have more exposure. By uploading your customer list into an SMS marketing platform, you will have the ability to create a review request campaign.
Finally, there is always signage. Having a sign with a QR code linked to your review site makes it easy for customers to scan the code and get to the website immediately. Consider some of these types of signage:
- Window decals
- Digital signage
- Floor graphics
- Postcards to leave in takeout orders