Online reviews: 5 proven ways to boost your restaurant ratings

If you think online reviews do not affect your restaurant business, think twice!

Online reviews are the key to your online reputation: by getting positive reviews, and by managing the negative ones in the right way, potential guests will be more likely to choose you over your competitors. Your place will gain more and more credibility – and this will lead to increased revenue.

That is not all: it is proven that more and better reviews also play a crucial role in your search online visibility, improving your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Search engines reward in particular the quantity, the quality and the recency of reviews. That means that you need to constantly monitor and manage online reviews – as well as encourage your guests to write new ones.

Here are 5 proven ways to improve the quality of your online reviews – before your competitors do.

1. Ask for reviews

Positive reviews are gold for your hospitality business, and that’s why you should chase them. Unfortunately, while the chances that a dissatisfied guest will provide negative feedback are high, happy customers are less likely to leave a review spontaneously, unless you ask for it. A BrightLocal survey shows that if you simply ask guests to review your location, 68% of them will actually do it. So, why not ask?

2. Do the best job possible

Make your guests’ experience unforgettable. Take ultimate care in meeting the needs of your customers, talk to them, be sure to understand what they expect from your product or service. Once you provide outstanding customer service, it will be much easier to get positive reviews.

Motivate your staff to do better and better, by sharing both the positive and the negative feedback with them. Even if the complaint does not regard you personally, but, for example, one of your employees, try to remember that your guests rely on you as the owner and face of the place.

 

3. Turn bad reviews into good reviews

Even if positive reviews are very important, do not forget that having also negative reviews has a favourable effect on the credibility of your restaurant. 95% of diners don’t take a place with solely positive reviews seriously. That is because they get a too one-sided image of it! Reading also negative reviews helps to paint a more realistic picture – but this does not mean you shouldn’t take care of them!

Here are a few tips to successfully turn a negative review into a good one.

  • Focus on making your dissatisfied guest feel heard and considered. Address him or her politely and apologize for the bad experience.
  • Apologies are not enough: show you really value the given opinion by resolving the issue.
  • Always try to move the discussion to the private sphere, so that you can address the problem via phone or e-mail and what you both write won’t be longer visible to everyone (review sites are public spaces!).
  • In case of a resolution, kindly ask the guest to change or remove the negative review.

Tricky topic? Read more on negative reviews here.

4. Don’t be pushy!

It’s ok to ask for reviews, but make sure you’re doing it the right way. Avoid pop-ups, mass e-mails, and any other impersonal approach. Try to be genuine and authentic to your brand. The best way to ask for reviews is by sending an e-mail or text message right after the guest leaves your premises. This is when the customer is the happiest, as the memory of the great service you provided is still fresh. Add a call-to-action (for example: ‘How do you think we did?’, ‘Click here to leave a review’) with a direct link to your review page. It will be easy and quick for them to leave positive feedback, and your overall ranking will increase right before your eyes.

5. Use a review management tool

Now you know about the importance of online reviews for your business. And you know that it’s crucial to constantly monitor and respond to them to keep your online reputation high. That’s exactly why we built Reviews for hospitality businesses. It allows you to track and reply to all your reviews from one platform. Imagine all your Google, TripAdvisor, Yelp and many more reviews in one simple dashboard. Also, the Review Request process is completely automated. Can you imagine how much time you will be able to save?

Interested? Leave your email below and we’ll get in touch with you.