Without online reputation management for restaurants, you’re probably losing potential diners on a daily basis. Many restaurateurs are new to the concept of restaurant reputation management and why it’s the key to gaining 5-star reviews. So let’s look into it in this blog.
What Is Restaurant Reputation Management?
Restaurant reputation management is the process of monitoring and managing a restaurant’s brand image to create meaningful relationships with customers and establish a reputable brand. Dealing with online restaurant reviews is a significant part of a restaurateur’s reputation management strategy.
The Importance of Online Reputation Management for Restaurants
People are always looking for the next place to eat, whether for a new experience or convenience’s sake. By performing “restaurant near me” searches online, these potential customers will likely discover your restaurant online, but what will they find when they do? This is why reputation management for restaurants is especially important.
Restaurant online reputation management zeroes in on what potential customers see online, which influences their decision to pay your restaurant a visit or not.
Top Restaurant Review Sites for Your Local Listing Management
Local listing management opens the door to more online restaurant reviews, and thus you generate more sales. If you’re keen to get 5 star reviews, here are the top restaurant review sites on which you should claim your listing.
Your Google Business Profile listing is of a top priority since such listings dominate the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). Google says that verified businesses on its directory are twice as likely to be regarded as reliable by consumers, especially if you have a collection of 5-star reviews. Additionally, claiming your listing on the platform allows you to manage your restaurant’s appearance on Google Maps.
Restaurant online reputation management wouldn’t be complete without claiming your listing on Yelp. You can manage your restaurant’s listing on the platform for free or pay for premium features such as promoting your posts and blocking competitor ads from appearing on your page. According to Yelp data, 97% percent of its users transact with a business they found on Yelp in just a week.
Facebook and Instagram
We listed together Meta’s two social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram, where you should manage your listing to get more 5-star reviews. While you technically can’t receive in-platform reviews on Instagram, you can reshare user-generated content that serves as an endorsement. Make sure to respond to negative reviews thoughtfully on Facebook, and do not leave them unattended.
While primarily a restaurant reservation service that helps you generate more sales and bookings, OpenTable is also used in online reputation management for restaurants. Potential diners go to the site and search for a new place to visit, specifically seeking out online restaurant reviews to help them decide. Per OpenTable, 31 million diners book through the platform each month.
Restaurant Reputation Management Tips
Before you rake in countless 5 star reviews, here are some measures you should practice to improve and protect your online reputation.
Be involved, online and offline. A quick check-in with your diners can be helpful to further improve customer experience. You can simply ask if everything is alright or how they find the food. In case there’s an issue, you can proactively address them right away. You might just get your restaurant a stream of 5-star reviews by demonstrating your intentionality.
Invest in local listing management. In restaurant online reputation management, it’s crucial to maintain an accurate name, address and phone number (NAP) across your listings. Doing so will ensure you won’t mislead any potential diners when they discover your brand online. Moreover, providing correct information demonstrates reliability and encourages more reviews.
Monitor brand mentions. Monitoring mentions of your brand online enables you to be aware of the sentiments surrounding your business. These mentions can be identified as threats or opportunities to turn into actionable insights. For instance, if a certain item on the menu is gaining popularity, you can run a promo on that item.
Respond to negative reviews. While negative reviews seem only damaging to your business, they are opportunities to show commitment toward your business and its customers. Everyone makes mistakes, including the biggest brands. What can set you apart from the rest is your response to a crisis. So instead of ignoring negative feedback, respond the next time you receive one.
Google Business Profile listing optimization. Lastly, do not buy Google reviews. If you’ve been offered a service wherein they generate fake, spammy reviews, avoid them at all costs. Fake reviews will do more harm than good to your business. Instead, make sure your Google Business Profile is optimized with complete details, including high-quality photos.
How To Respond to Negative Reviews
Since we mentioned its importance, here’s a quick guide for responding to negative reviews:
- Respond promptly. Don’t wait until the customer has completely lost interest in your business.
- Personalize your message. Address the customer by name if possible, and avoid using canned responses.
- Say thank you. While it seems counterintuitive, thank the customer for their time leaving feedback.
- Empathize and apologize. Repeat their concern to convey your understanding of their experience. And take responsibility for any shortcomings.
- Have a clear resolution. Tell the customer your next steps to addressing their concern.
How To Get More Online Restaurant Reviews
- Ask your diners.
- Put a review widget on your website.
- Display a QR code in-store.
Do not buy Google reviews.
Let’s dive into these below:
Ask Your Diners
We mentioned how you should be involved both offline and online. As you do that, you likely gauge diners you can approach to ask for feedback. Provide them convenient options on where they can leave a review and express how much this would help your business.
Put a Review Widget on Your Website
You can easily improve online reputation management for restaurants by adding a review widget to your website. Your restaurant site visitors can quickly view the positive reviews you selected to feature. Additionally, a review widget opens the door to more 5 star reviews.
Display a QR Code In-Store
You can generate a QR code for your Google Business Profile or Yelp listing, which lets diners know which restaurant review sites you are on. Scanning them directs people to a link where they can quickly leave you a review. Effective spots to place a QR code would be your reception desk, cashier and front door.
Do Not Buy Google Reviews
We’re reiterating this point to convey just how harmful buying fake reviews can be. In Google’s guidelines, paying for fake reviews is illegal and could have legal ramifications. The platform makes it clear that reviews should reflect a customer’s genuine experience of a business.
Your Next Best Online Reputation Management Strategy: Rize Reviews
We get it; managing the daily operations of a restaurant is demanding in itself, but that’s no reason to do away with your online reputation. Rize Reviews can take charge of your restaurant’s reputation management and allow you to focus on other crucial aspects of your business. Our team can provide a complimentary demo for you to see our software in action.
Start your next best online reputation management strategy with our free website widget.