In today’s globally connected world of consumerism, brands in every industry live and die by what’s being said about them online. This can prove especially true for restaurateurs who aren’t just feeding customers, but also serving up an entire experience. Online reviews (aka electronic word-of-mouth) have impact and influence on restaurant’s customer base on a much larger scale than ever before. Many eateries are finding that with sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and other pages dedicated entirely to critiquing great (and not-so-great) eats, patrons have virtually endless ways to speak their minds after filling their stomachs, leaving even the finest restaurant’s reputation constantly at the mercy of the critical masses.
As a restaurant owner, you already know it’s not only the food that diners detail in their commentaries. While the faire is always the main event, there are several other supporting acts that shape the overall dining vibe and warrant review. Price, service, cleanliness, atmosphere and even parking are just some of the many variables that your customers may comment on when forming an overall opinion of your establishment. Their words have weight; a recent piece on Modern Restaurant Management shared several key statistics about the influence reviews have with future customers, including:
Perhaps the most significant detail shared in the article: a restaurant with a rating improved by even just half a star (based on a 1-5 scale) proved much more likely to be fully booked during peak dining times. In short, peer reviews don’t only shape your brand image; they directly impact your bottom line. While positive reviews can generate buzz and have hungry patrons lining up outside your door, just a few bad posts from disgruntled diners can quickly have even your regulars seeking meals elsewhere.
Fortunately, restaurant owners don’t simply have to stand by idly and hope only satisfied diners post about their food. An experienced digital marketing company can prove an ideal resource when developing a cohesive online management strategy, starting with your internal operations. Customer convenience can play a major role in the things patrons have to say about your restaurant. A qualified firm can help you improve access to features such as online ordering and reservations to ensure diner satisfaction that encourages affirmative reviews and posts.
Additionally, your chosen marketing provider will also help you create a positive social media presence to reinforce your brand image. Posting up-to-date specials, menu options, and announcements keeps your patrons informed on what’s happening at your eatery. Also, social media offers your business an opportunity for actual engagement and connection with clientele for an added boost to your brand.
Finally, a knowledgeable reputation management specialist will know how to handle negative comments about your restaurant. Bad reviews happen. However, quickly and professionally responding to unfavorable posts can make a major difference in how your eatery is perceived by consumers. Having a plan in place to effectively address all reviews can establish your brand as one that welcomes constructive input and strives to achieve dining excellence and customer satisfaction at all times.
Ready to take charge of your restaurant’s reputation? We can help! Contact the team at Repair Bad Reputation today for more information.