• Ratings and Reviews
  • Restaurant Marketing

How to Improve Online Ratings and Reviews

by: Allen Graves On: September 1, 2021
5 min read

In today’s competitive marketplace, positive customer ratings and reviews can be one of the most valuable and powerful customer acquisition and marketing tools for your restaurant business.

  • Consumers are likely to spend 31% more at a business with excellent reviews
  • 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more

If you’re currently not paying attention to your ratings and reviews, take a look at our post, Why Every Restaurant Should Care About Customer Ratings, to discover the potential revenue you’re undoubtedly leaving on the table.

Customer leaving a rating and reviewIt also goes without saying that receiving more positive customer reviews can not only help you increase foot traffic and revenue, but consumers will have more assurance and trust that they will have a pleasurable experience at your establishment.

Here are a few ways in which you can get more of those valuable positive ratings and reviews from your restaurant visitors.

Put Your Reviews Where Customers Can Easily Find Them

If you want your customers to leave you ratings and reviews, you need to make sure they know where to do it. One of the best solutions is to utilize your guest WiFi landing page, sometimes referred to as a captive portal. When customers log in to your WiFi network, you can ask for a review there, or provide links to your review pages on the popular review sites.

Other ideas might include adding signage on your tables or at your POS or adding a review form directly on your website.

When you have an automated WiFi marketing platform, you can set up an automatically triggered email to go to your customers after they leave your establishment asking them for a rating. If the rating is good, you can follow up with links to the popular online rating sites and encourage them to share.

If the rating is bad, you can follow up with an apology and an incentive to get the customer to give you a chance to make things right. This will potentially mitigate a bad rating making it online.

The strategy is known as a rating feedback loop and it can be very powerful in gaining consistent, positive ratings and reviews. Blow, we’ll show you how Bloom Intelligence can automate this process for you.

Ask Your Customers for Ratings and Reviews

There’s nothing wrong with asking happy customers to give you an online rating and review. When you see a guest having a pleasant experience, strike up a conversation. Then ask them to visit a site like Google or Facebook and share their experience.

Requesting a review while face-to-face with your customer can be incredibly effective. According to marketingland.com, “asking in person can garner you seven to eight times more reviews than asking via email.”

Guide to restaurant ratings and reviews

Strike at The Right Time

Yes, a mixture of good and not-so-stellar ratings can appear more authentic to internet surfers, but you obviously want a lot more of the positive ones. When asking your patrons for ratings and reviews, look for those who:

  • Are outwardly having a great time
  • Are “regulars” at your location
  • Seem to be dwelling longer than your average patrons
  • Compliment your food or atmosphere
  • Finished their entire meal
  • Gave a large tip

These customers can become your best online advocates, so be on the lookout for them and don’t be afraid to ask for a rating or review.

Go Where Your Customer Go

You can ask for ratings and reviews online, as well as in person. The key here is to find out where your customers are online. For instance, if a large portion of your customer base is active on Facebook, make sure you have a company Facebook page that you are actively posting and commenting on. This engagement generates trust, loyalty, and comfort.

This applies to any social media channel. The time you spend engaging with your customers will be well worth it. And when they feel comfortable with you online, they’ll likely leave you a more positive review when asked.

Offer a Reward for Ratings and Reviews

Asking for a rating or review is a very effective way of increasing positive online ratings. So why not reward customers who rate or review your restaurant? You could offer every customer who gives you a rating a free item from your menu or a discount on their next visit.

Make sure to mention that the offer is for any rating or review – good or bad. If they feel “bribed” and leave a good review solely because of the payback, your data can become skewed, and you will miss out on the valuable reviews that you can use to improve your business.

Use social proof to get more customers

Be Best at What You Do

Above all, you should always strive to present the best food and drink with amazing service in an incredible atmosphere. When you do this, great ratings will inherently follow. And when you begin encouraging customers to give you ratings by following the tips above, you’ll be sure to see increases in overall foot traffic, customer frequency, and customer spend.

Manage Your Ratings and Reviews Effectively

With Bloom Intelligence, not only can you automatically reach out to your customers asking for ratings, but you can manage and reply to your ratings and reviews all in one place. With Bloom’s integration with Google and Facebook, you won’t have to spend time managing them separately on different platforms.

Having all of your ratings and reviews all in one place allows you to easily spot trends and make appropriate changes to your marketing and operations procedures. And you’ll have graphical reports to further help you spot trends.

This can save you time and money, and let you do what you do best – run your business!

To see a free demo of Bloom’s rating tools, and all of the other valuable marketing tools Bloom has to offer, click here for a demo or call us at 727-877-8181.

You will save huge amounts of time, increase customer lifetime values, get more new customers, bring back churning customers, and improve your online restaurant reputation with ease.

Restaurant reputation management guide

Restaurant Marketing FAQs

What is Restaurant Marketing?

Restaurant marketing is the process of getting people to visit your restaurants. Restaurant marketing creates loyalty, provides data to research, analytics, and allows restaurants to gain a better understanding of their ideal customer profile. It utilizes all customer channels: guest WiFi, website, social, rating sites, mobile apps, email, text, and advertising.

Learn More About Restaurant Marketing Here

What is WiFi Marketing?

WiFi marketing is a marketing technique that uses guest WiFi to collect & clean customer data such as names, emails, phone numbers, customer behavior, and demographics. This data is used to personalize marketing campaigns to increase customer loyalty, build online reviews, and save at-risk customers. The performance of every campaign can be tracked down to the tangible ROI of a customer walking back in your door.

Learn More About WiFi Marketing Here

What is Restaurant Reputation Management?

Restaurant reputation management is the process for restaurants to manage customer feedback and creating systems to improve customer experiences, passively build positive online reviews, and save at-risk customers. It is a very important aspect of running a successful restaurant business.

Learn More About Restaurant Reputation Management Here

How Does Bloom Identify and Bring Back Lost Customers?

Bloom Intelligence uses machine learning to identify at-risk customers. When one is recognized, the system will send them a message with an incentive to get them to return and re-establish their visit pattern. Bloom users are seeing up to 37% of churning customers return.

Learn More About Saving At-Risk Customers Here


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