• Restaurant Marketing

Tactics for Restaurants to Manage and Improve Their Online Reputation

by: Allen Graves
6 min read

In the digital age, a restaurant’s success is significantly influenced by its online reputation. With the power of the internet at their fingertips, guests’ dining decisions can easily sway by what they read online.

Reviews on platforms like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, and social media commentary have become pivotal in shaping a restaurant’s image and, consequently, its bottom line.

A positive online reputation can attract more guests, while negative feedback can deter potential patrons even before they step through the door.

Thus, understanding and managing online reputation has become crucial for restaurants aiming for longevity and success in a highly competitive market.

Monitoring Online Presence

For restaurants, the first step in reputation management is keeping a vigilant eye on what’s being said about them across various platforms.

This task, daunting though it may seem, is made manageable and efficient through the use of innovative tools like Bloom Intelligence designed for online reputation monitoring and management.

These tools aggregate mentions and reviews from across the web, providing restaurant owners and managers with a centralized dashboard to view guest feedback.

This technology uses advanced algorithms to constantly sift through data, alerting you to new reviews so you can understand your restaurant’s online standing in real time. The insight gained allows for swift action, ensuring that the restaurant’s online presence accurately reflects its commitment to quality and guest satisfaction.

monitoring online restaurant reputation

Responding to Reviews

Engaging with guest feedback is a cornerstone of effective online reputation management.

Responding to reviews, both positive and negative, is an art that every restaurant must master to maintain and enhance its online reputation. In a landscape where online feedback can significantly influence potential patrons, your response strategy is not just about addressing a single review – it’s about showcasing your commitment to guest satisfaction to the world.

Here’s how to approach this crucial aspect of your online presence with tact, sincerity, and effectiveness.

The Art of Responding to Negative Reviews

Negative reviews can be disheartening, but they offer a golden opportunity for restaurants to demonstrate responsiveness, empathy, and a commitment to excellence. A study by TNS NIPO revealed that 70% of those who complain online hope for a response, yet only 38% actually receive one.

The effectiveness of your response hinges on three critical factors:

  1. Speed of Response: Timeliness is key. The faster you address a complaint, the more you signal to both the aggrieved customer and potential patrons that you value feedback and are proactive about rectification.
  2. Quality of Solution: The substance of your response matters greatly. Offering a genuine solution to the customer’s problem or a gesture that shows you’re taking their feedback seriously can turn a dissatisfied diner into a loyal fan.
  3. Authenticity of Interaction: How you convey your message plays a significant role in its reception. Your response should feel personalized and sincere, not generic or automated. By treating the customer with respect and understanding, you lay the groundwork for rebuilding trust.

The Formula: T.A.C.T

When responding to negative feedback, employ T.A.C.T:

  • Thank the customer for bringing the issue to your attention.
  • Apologize sincerely for any inconvenience or dissatisfaction they experienced.
  • Continue the conversation offline, offering direct contact information to discuss the matter in more detail and find a resolution.
  • Treat them with an incentive to revisit your restaurant, giving you the chance to win back their patronage.

Engaging with Positive Reviews

While it’s essential to address negative feedback, responding to positive reviews can also significantly boost your restaurant’s online stature.

Each positive response serves a dual purpose: it reinforces the positive experience for the reviewer and signals to potential guests that you genuinely appreciate and value your customers.

When engaging with positive feedback, remember to do it in T.I.M.E:

  • Thank the customer for their patronage and for taking the time to leave a review.
  • Identify your restaurant, tying the positive feedback to your specific location or unique selling points.
  • Market subtly by mentioning a special offer, event, or feature that aligns with the positive aspects highlighted in the review.
  • Engage the reviewer by inviting them back, asking a question, or encouraging them to spread the word.

responding to online reviews

Leveraging Automation and Personalization

Bloom Intelligence’s platform revolutionizes how restaurants manage review responses by offering templates and automation tools. These resources enable you to respond quickly and effectively, maintaining consistency and engagement across all feedback.

The platform also allows for AI-powered response suggestions, tailoring replies to the sentiment and content of each review. Over time, these AI suggestions adapt based on your preferences, ensuring responses remain personalized and authentic while maintaining brand voice.

Automating review responses based on set criteria further streamlines the process, ensuring timely engagement with both positive and negative feedback.

By combining speed, personalization, and strategic engagement, restaurants can transform their review management practices, leading to improved guest satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, a sterling online reputation.

Furthermore, since the process can be completely automated, you can save time and resources for other important areas of your business.

Leveraging Social Media

Social media platforms offer a dynamic avenue for restaurants to not only monitor but actively enhance their online reputation.

Effective strategies include showcasing the restaurant’s offerings through high-quality images and videos, engaging with customers by replying to comments and messages, and utilizing these platforms for real-time customer service.

Social media also provides a valuable channel for sharing positive reviews and testimonials, amplifying satisfied guests’ voices, and potentially swaying public opinion in the restaurant’s favor.

Training Staff on Reputation Management

The significance of a restaurant’s online reputation must be a shared understanding across all staff members.

Training programs should emphasize the direct impact that each employee’s actions have on the restaurant’s image. Staff should be educated on the best practices for encouraging positive reviews, such as providing exceptional service and gently reminding satisfied customers to share their experiences online.

Additionally, standard operating procedures for handling guest feedback—both in-person and online—should be implemented, ensuring that all employees are equipped to contribute positively to the restaurant’s reputation.

In conclusion, managing and improving a restaurant’s online reputation is a multifaceted endeavor that requires attention, strategy, and commitment.

From vigilant monitoring of online platforms to engaging with guest feedback and leveraging the power of social media, each step is crucial in shaping public perception.

By educating and empowering staff to take part in this process, restaurants can foster an environment that not only encourages positive online discussions but also translates to real-world success.

In the ever-evolving landscape of the restaurant industry, a well-managed online reputation stands as a testament to quality, resilience, and the unwavering pursuit of guest satisfaction.

Targeted marketing campaigns can fill your restaurant

Discover Bloom Intelligence 

Bloom Intelligence is an AI-powered restaurant marketing platform. It includes a powerful customer data platform, automated guest data collection, marketing automation, and reputation management tools.

Bloom gathers guest data from many different sources and aggregates it into one single platform. This makes it simple to analyze and segment your guest personas for your restaurant digital marketing and operations decisions.

Data is collected from sources like WiFi logins, online reservation systems, online ordering platforms, POS systems, website forms, social media, and more.

Bloom makes guest data collection effortless, allowing you to quickly execute the strategies listed above, saving you time, increasing customer lifetime values, attracting new guests, improving your reputation, and boosting your bottom line.

Click Here to Schedule a Free Online Demo, or call 727-877-8181 to see how we can help you save time and drive tangible results for your restaurants.

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


What our happy customers
are saying

“SaaS that covered so many bases for us instead of having to use multiple software products. Bloom Intelligence has simplified our responses to reviews, customer feedback, and more. I highly recommend Bloom Intelligence.”

Robert Sanderson

“Bloom Intelligence really is a step ahead in terms of marketing software and metrics. Their product is reliable, fast and innovative and has helped the company I work for really grow.”

John Marchetti

“Working with Bloom Intelligence has been amazing. They assist you every step of the way and work with you hand in hand to make sure you are optimizing your advertising potential. We are excited to use this tool to help learn more about our customers so that we can personally engage with them and understand our strengths/weaknesses.”

Ariel Ramirez

“In these challenging times, it has been a pleasure working with Bloom Intelligence to help facilitate our service offering to our clients. They were extremely responsive and provided support to mitigate risk and minimize revenue loss. Great partner!”

Stefan Kim

“We’re extremely pleased with the wealth of customer data that we’re able to gather, at a very attractive price.  In addition, we’re able to communicate our new product promotions by using  the landing page as a digital billboard.  A “no-brainer” for anyone working with limited Marketing $$.”

Bob Cross, Vice President of Operations

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