Reputation is everything in the food business.
The quality of the dishes you serve, the freshness of the ingredients, the service your staff provides (from cooks to bussers and every role in-between), and even the atmosphere, décor, and parking situation are under constant customer scrutiny.
Once customers make a judgment about your business and post it online, that opinion spreads through all corners of the web faster than you can blink. Whether you have an online presence or not, customers can and will review you anyway.
If they’re positive comments, how can you leverage that to grow your reputation?
What if you get negative reviews? How do you put out the fire?
Restaurant reputation management can help you with both. In fact, it’s vital to have a grasp on this to keep your restaurant business healthy.
Ready to learn how?
How to Respond to Reviews to Build Your Restaurant’s Reputation
Managing your online reputation begins and ends with your responses to customers. Here are ways to deal with both negative and positive restaurant reviews.
Leverage Positive Reviews
A. Respond to Positive Comments
According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), one of the most important things you can do for restaurant reputation management is simply respond to your online reviews.
HBR did a study and found that once businesses start replying to reviews, they get 12% more reviews than they did before, and their ratings increase after an average period of 6 months.
This may be because customers see businesses that genuinely engage with them more favorably. Whatever the reason, interact with your satisfied guests to see more positive gains.
B. Use Positive Reviews as Social Proof
When you get positive reviews, one of the best ways to use them to your advantage is to offer them as proof that your restaurant is worth a visit.
When you get a particularly good review, reply to the customer and ask them if you can reuse their comments on your website, in your emails, or in promotions as a testimonial. Highlighting your awesome reviews is an excellent way to make potential visitors become customers.
What to Do with Negative Reviews
According to YouGov, a whopping 90% of Americans who read online reviews find them vital to the decision-making process. The thing is, both positive and negative reviews are considered helpful – especially if consumers can read your responses to both.
In fact, Chris Campbell for Entrepreneur says responding to negative online reviews has the same positive impact as replying to good feedback. That’s because your response helps shape the way your brand is perceived.
For example, did you reply courteously to negative comments, offer apologies, and accept constructive criticism? Or did you hurl insults at your negative reviewer?
If there was a huge problem for a customer, did you try to solve it? Or did you leave an unsatisfying response that made it seem like you didn’t care?
Whatever your response, review readers will see it and take it into account when judging whether to give you their business. That’s huge.
Keep Your Restaurant’s Online Reputation Healthy
To maintain your overall reputation as a restaurant business, you must engage in online reputation management.
This means tracking your reviews, knowing where customers are talking about your brand, responding to positive and negative comments alike, and leveraging those comments to improve your business.
If this all sounds overwhelming, no worries. Online reputation management software like Rize Reviews helps you keep things in hand and build your clout.
Check out our software today for a done-for-you service to manage reviews like a pro.