Restaurant reputation management has become more important than ever, as online reviews directly impact a restaurant’s revenue potential. New customers will be attracted by positive reviews and concurrently new and qualified staff will similarly be eager to work for restaurants with higher ratings. Of course this is easier said than done, especially in the servicing industry it is hard to maintain a strong online reputation. The trickiest part of this is that a single negative feedback on the internet can dismantle the positive image your restaurant has built up over time. Therefore online reputation management becomes a critical tool for restaurant owners. You don’t want to leave your online reputation in the hands of the internet.
How do you establish a reputation management strategy for a restaurant?
Manage Online Reviews
As a restaurant owner, the first thing you should do is start paying attention to reviews your place is receiving on various review sites. Upon analyzing your reviews, do take time to respond to online feedback — good or bad. Many owners or managers choose to omit negative feedback as if it doesn’t exist with the reasoning of not affecting their activity. However responding to online reviews has a huge potential upside, as customers can see you care about their opinion and are willing to listen — even to criticism.
Furthermore, the restaurant’s ratings and rankings in search results are also influenced by the reviews. As a study by University of California Berkeley concluded that even a half-star increase in online reviews restaurants ratings can lead to a 30% increase in the chances of a restaurant being fully booked during peak dining times.
While this seems self-explanatory, sometimes restaurant owners forget to register on review sites and authenticate their profile. This has to be done in order to provide accurate information about the restaurant’s working hours, available menu and facilities on spot. Additionally the contact information has to be easily available, so the potential client can immediately book a table.
Social Media Presence
Social media presence as a restaurant can greatly enhance your online reputation. It creates a “persona” for your restaurant that customers can relate to. This “vibe” will play a major role in having returning customers, as well as attracting new ones by creating a buzz.
Social media platforms are also a great resource for identifying what your customers think of your service, menu and their experience in general. Keep track of sites like Yelp, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Further, these platforms offer a channel for interaction with your followers. Take this opportunity to respond and engage to create a loyal community around your brand.
Be active and post content from different sources — don’t focus solely on self-promotion. Interesting posts, hashtags and funny content will go a long way in making your page entertaining and interesting to your audience.