The Importance of Reputation Management for Restaurants

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The Importance of Reputation Management for Restaurants

The day to day operations of running a successful restaurant is different than most any industries there are many different aspects involved: preparation, service, and management to name a few. Here we examine The Importance of Reputation Management for Restaurants. Before the internet era, people would go to their local bar for the friends they had always been used to, “…Sometimes, you wanna go to where everyone knows your name.”

While word of mouth is still extremely important in the restaurant world, the way word travels about a restaurant online has changed greatly over the past few years. We’ve all seen the nightmares that unfold for some unfortunate restaurant owners. These owners found themselves in a viral mess after a customer has taken to their social media sites regarding something negative that has happened at their business.

No longer is a bad experience simply one that will be known to the customer’s handful of acquaintances that they talk to on a daily basis, Now,there is a medium that can easily reach the a global audience. For this reason, the importance of reputation management for restaurants is extremely important if you own a restaurant and the sooner that you can address a negative review, the better. Recently, proof of this played out online between a customer and a restaurant in New York.

In this specific instance, the owner of the restaurant responded with such speed to a negative review that he was able to turn a potentially disastrous situation into a positive marketing advantage for his restaurant. After the client made ridiculous requests regarding a to-go order, something the restaurant does not provide, she quickly took to the review site Yelp to voice her dissatisfaction with the restaurant.  Because the owner monitored would get a message when a review was left, he was immediately able to see the review.

“78% of Americans aged 18-44 agree that online reviews help them decide whether or not to purchase from a specific business”

By acting quickly, the owner countered her remarks and was able to set the record straight before any damage could be done. In fact, he was able to promote the restaurant and showcase its unique qualities as a fine dining establishment in that particular area. The importance of reputation management for restaurants is the single greatest thing for any small business owner.

This just goes to show that taking a proactive approach with your online reputation can be a crucial part of managing your restaurant. Diners expect a lot from the restaurants that they choose to spend their time at and if they are not satisfied, it is extremely simple to post a negative review online.

Now, with the internet on your mobile phone restaurants are the ‘Most Searched Industry by Consumers on Mobile Devices‘.  As we enter into this era the importance of reputation management for restaurants becomes overwhelming.

More than 80% of the customers of restaurants and hotels take their decisions driven by shared reviews and opinions on the Internet.

There are numerous studies pointing to the importance of reputation management for restaurants.  We know how important review sites are and when adding that statistical fact and looking at how mobile devices play such a heavy role in decision making for restaurants, the importance of reputation management for restaurants is unquestionable.

“73% of consumers say positive reviews make them trust a business more.”

Consider the consumer, you decide you are starving, but find yourself miles from your favorite restaurants, intuitively your first reaction, turn to the kids ask them what kind of food they want, open that yelp app search for a pizza place and boom, whatever has the best ratings get the first call for a reservation.  Now integrated into my google maps, not only do I have a reservation, but I am at the door within the seven minutes my cell phone tells me. How can one argue that the importance of reputation management for restaurants is pointeless?

“87% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.”

Why are there so many more reviews on restaurants vs other lets say an auto shop? Have you ever wondered how some restaurants have so many amazing reviews?

For that answer we looked to quora, a popular site for social media interaction. The question “Why are there so many more customers’ reviews on restaurants & hotels than others such as health care or auto shops?  The answer most used was along the lines of Your real choices in hotels and restaurants are infinite while real choices of medical care are almost none.

So, since the importance of reputation management for restaurants is extremely critical, the most important question is: How can a restaurant get amazing reviews?

The Importance of Reputation Management for Restaurants
The Importance of Reputation Management for Restaurants

We think the number one answer is do good business and when you get bad reviews follow up and change the way you do business. Focus on customer service and the overall dining experience. Customers need to be treated kindly and feel as if they are being waited on with the proper amount of care and speed. These items combined together can make for either a fantastic experience for diners or a poor one.  Much of the work that goes into marketing for a restaurant relies on the effectiveness of word of mouth. If customers loved the food, service and atmosphere, they are more likely to recommend your restaurant to their friends and neighbors.

Owners have recognized the importance of reputation management for restaurants for much longer than the Internet has been around.  Many people now rely on these reviews to make but Reputation Management for Restaurants is critical. There are many of these review sites available. Because many restaurants are small establishments, it may be difficult for them to develop a strategy where they are able to monitor all of these review sites that need to be monitored.

Luckily, there are companies available that can help with the process of stressing the importance of reputation management for restaurants and will alert them to issues before they can cause damage to their businesses. With the help of a reputation management company, a restaurant will be able to address a negative review faster and will be able to get to the root of the problem quickly so you can concentrate on the importance of reputation management for restaurants.  Keep in mind that being a part of a review system is definitely a good thing. While a negative review will turn diners away from your restaurant, so will no reviews at all. A diner is looking for some quality information regarding the type of food that you serve, as well as the service that they can expect to experience.  It may be smart to reach out to your consumer base, the people who are always there and ask them to share their opinions online.

With the help of a reputation management company, not only will you have the benefit of learning how to eliminate many of these negative reviews, but you will be able to learn more about how to encourage your diners  to post positive reviews as well. The world of marketing is always evolving and because of social media, it is more important than ever emphasize the importance of reputation management for restaurants.

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