9 Tips for Successful Restaurant Reputation Management

Here are 9 great tips to help you manage your restaurant reputation to increase sales & loyalty, and get new customers through your doors.

Restaurant Reputation Management

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Tips for Restaurant Reputation Management

Restaurant reputation management is a important part of being successful in todays increasingly competitive market. Great customer ratings can propel your business to the next level.

Likewise, you can discover issues you may have been unaware of, and quickly work to resolve them.

Here are 9 tips to help you improve your restaurant reputation management strategy.

Restaurant Reputation Management Tips

Why Improving Your Restaurant Reputation is Important

Ratings, reviews, and social media are becoming increasingly important to monitor and manage for owners and operators.

  • According to Upserve, 90% of guests research a restaurant online before dining — more than any other business type. Likewise, 57% of those guests viewed restaurant websites before selecting where to dine.
  • And Toast POS reports that 35% of diners said they are influenced by online reviews when choosing a place to dine.
  • ReviewTrackers reports that 94% of consumers say an online review has convinced them to avoid a business.

Managing your restaurants reputation is critical for your business now more than ever.

Even if you provide the best customer experience, a couple of negative reviews can quickly derail your business. The bottom line is that your potential customers research restaurants online before making a decision. So reputation management – managing your restaurant online reputation is an important part of your marketing strategy.

Below are several best practices for improving and maintaining your online reputation & customers experience.

1. Use Social Media to Improve Your Restaurants Online Reputation

Social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be very powerful tools to help improve your reputation.

Likewise, they can bring your reputation down if they are not managed correctly.

First, make sure that your entire company profile is completed on every platform you use. This includes website URL, address, and phone numbers.

Many times, a restaurant’s desired username is being used by another company. So, not only will a full profile tie your page to your website, it will let visitors know that it is your place of business.

Next, make sure that your header image and any images you post are positive, and include your logo or brand image.

On Instagram and Facebook, users look at images or videos before reading a post. Feature images of people having fun at your establishment and high-definition images of menu items. Anything positive in nature can also help improve your restaurant reputation.

When posting, keep your brand voice consistent. Whatever brand image you want to convey, do so consistently. And don’t forget to use links to your website.

Finally, monitor your social media pages on a regular basis. If someone posts a negative comment, you don’t want it to sit there unanswered for too long.

Handling Negative Reviews

Responding to negative posts and comments correctly can actually help improve your reputation because it shows visitors that you care about your customers.

Even the best operators will eventually run into a negative online review.

Just remember that it is how you respond to the negative reviews that can either make you look like you genuinely care about your customers, or that you wouldn’t care if they ever came back.

Reputation management includes saving your at risk customers, and replying with empathy. This way when a potential customer is looking at your restaurants online, they will see your a great positive online reputation. This social proof will drive next new business to you.

Reputation Management Tips

2. Monitoring Restaurant Online Ratings and Review Websites

Perhaps the most powerful outside influence on your restaurant’s online reputation lies in the major online ratings and reviews websites.

These include Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor, Yelp, and many others.

Whether good or bad, ratings and reviews provide priceless feedback you can use to improve your overall customer experience and your offline & online reputation.

They allow you to recognize specific things that customers love, and those that need improvement.

Smart owners and operators are constantly monitoring their online ratings, reviews, and conversations about their business.

They understand that positive reviews not only generate a great deal of marketing power and social proof, but they contain hidden gems of information about your food, service and atmosphere. This is the power of reputation management.

It is like free real-time custom market research.

3. Work to Improve Your Ratings

If you’re not paying close attention to your restaurant online ratings and reviews, you are missing out on vital information that can help grow your business.

Likewise, if you’re not actively pushing those rating higher, you are leaving a lot of money on the table.

In modern restaurant reputation management, proactively asking customers to make an online review on review sites after a good experience will accelerate the number of positive online reviews that you potential customers will see online.

Using a reputation management platform like Bloom Intelligence, you can proactively increase the amount of positive ratings on the major online ratings websites, by automating the process of asking your customers for a review on review sites.

This way when searching restaurants online your business will stand out among your competition.

 

4. Reputation Management – Create a Ratings Feedback Loop

The idea of a ratings feedback loop is to catch a customer before they enter a poor rating on social media or ratings websites. Here’s how it works.

When a visitor leaves your restaurant business, you can wait for a short period of time and send them a message asking for a rating.

When the rating is positive, you can respond with a thank you, and ask them to rate you online. Links to your online ratings pages should be included.

Or, if you receive bad review response, you can quickly follow up with them with a sincere apology and an incentive for them to visit again to give your restaurant a valuable second chance.

You will grab the customer’s attention and offer some kind of resolution to their issue before they get to an online ratings website.

Then, when the customer returns, you can start the process again to make sure their experience improved.

If they know their issue is being addressed in a friendly and positive manner, they will most likely refrain from complaining online.

Over time, this will mitigate many bad reviews that would have been sitting online – damaging your reputation – for years to come.

By studying the ratings and your restaurant online reviews, you can find hidden trends or operational issues you were unaware of.

5. Review Responses for Restaurant Reputation Management

It is also very important that you respond to your reviews.

If you receive positive reviews, thank the reviewers and tell them you hope to see them again soon. If customer reviews are positive, but not glowing, try to see if you can spot something that would have made their experience better.

Responding to negative reviews is also very important. Your response to a negative review can actually influence and impress potential future customers.

Make sure to respond in a positive tone and provide an effective solution to the issues that caused the negativity.

This shows that you are actively listening to your customers and that you are committed to making things better. Again, make sure and take action to resolve the issue.

Managing Restaurant Reputation

These are just a few examples of using customer reviews to make your customer experience better – the options are endless.

By monitoring and evaluating your online reviews and conversations, and then taking action based on them, you can keep your place of business top-of-mind of local consumers, build that five-star reputation, and watch your business grow.

The Bloom Intelligence WiFi marketing and customer intelligence hub can automate the entire feedback loop process for you.

Once the emails and campaign are created, all you have to do is sit back and watch the ratings begin coming in. Then, act on the reviews and watch your reputation improve.

6. Provide a Stellar Customer Experience

It goes without saying that great customer service, food, drink, and ambiance mean a lot to your restaurant’s reputation.

After all, if your service and products are not good, you will never develop an excellent reputation.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, customer sentiment has shifted greatly to overall cleanliness and this is likely to remain. According to a recent report from Black Box Intelligence:

  • One theme that continues to be top of mind for guests is cleanliness. Guest net sentiment for cleanliness has been increasing in recent months. Additionally, the overall percentage of ambiance mentions that center on cleanliness has been steadily increasing each month since April.
  • As guests started going back to dine-in, a larger portion of the restaurant experience has been focused on safety and sanitation. And the good news is that as operators you have had a chance to adapt to the new required heightened cleanliness protocols, the response from guests has been increasingly positive.

So, make sure your customers know what you are doing to help keep them, and your staff, safe.

 

7. Automate the Review Process

With the help of WiFi Technology and Bloom Intelligence reputation management software, it is now possible to automate the process of improving your reputation and get more positive reviews. We call it Ratings+.

Using Bloom’s automated marketing suite of tools, you can send a message you your customers asking for online reviews on Facebook, Google, or directly in the Bloom platform.

Moreover, there is a link to send a message directly to you in the case of a poor experience. That way, you can respond quickly and make things right again, possibly keeping them from leaving bad reviews.

The system integrates directly with Facebook and Google, so when the customer clicks on the link to rate their experience, it will be posted online and recorded in the Bloom platform. This allows you to track your Facebook and Google ratings all in one place.

Plus you will have the ability to respond to your customers reviews & direct messaging directly within Bloom.

The Bloom ratings reports will allow you to see trends, quantity, and average ratings by platform, or as an aggregate total.

The process can be fully automated, with the message being triggered by a specific customer activity, such as 1 hour after they leave your place of business.

8. Provide Social Proof

Your ratings are only effective when your customers and potential patrons can see them.

With the Bloom Ratings+ tools, you can easily display your aggregate ratings as a non-obtrusive review widget on your website pages.

Bloom provides a small piece of code along with instructions on how to add the review widget to your website.

As soon as the code is added to your site, the widget immediately begins to appear. The totals update in real time.

It is also a good idea to add great testimonials on your website pages.

Even before consumers check the ratings and reviews websites like Facebook or TripAdvisor, they will likely do a quick Google search for restaurants or services in their area.

To make your website result stand out above the others, it is possible to show your average rating right there in the search result. This is done by placing a small bit of code (structured data) into your website’s HTML code.

Within a few days, your search engine listing can look like the one above.

The SEO Lite feature from Bloom Intelligence will soon be released and will do this all for you. To learn more about structured data, you can read Google’s documentation here.

9. Grow Your Business with Bloom Intelligence

The opportunities are endless with Bloom’s reputation management software, and you can get this data for pennies-on-the-dollar compared to other data collection methods.

If you would like to see more examples and how Bloom’s WiFi marketing and customer intelligence hub can help you grow your business and improve your restaurant reputation, call us at 727-877-8181 or click to schedule a demo online.

In today’s competitive environment, we can give you the competitive edge for success! Let us show you how.

 

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“We’ve been using Bloom Intelligence for our business for a few years now, and it’s been really great! We started using them at one location, but have recently expanded into three more. They provide useful metrics to help us understand our customers better, and their customer service team has been really helpful anytime we’ve needed something. They continually make improvements to their product and easily keep you up to date on the changes. Working with them has been great!”

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Sydney Dixon
Best support team we have worked with. They are quickly responsive and keep us updated constantly with all our restaurant locations! Best way we have found to collect customer data.
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