Reviews and Restaurant Marketing; The Key to a Good Reputation

Thanks to the rise of the digital era, consumer focus has shifted from traditional media (i.e., offline media) to online media as in websites and social media platforms. And of all the industries getting reviewed online, the restaurant industry has its fair share of scrutiny. Hence, the indispensable role of restaurant marketing and how it is key to a restaurant’s good reputation.

Why restaurant marketing is important?

Most guests will check out review sites before they pick a restaurant. They may come across your website or social media, and according to guest reviews, they may either go for your place or move on to another. And when you know that a study has found that 93% of consumers check reviews before dining out, you’ll know why integrating reviews in your restaurant marketing strategy is something worthy of consideration.

How to encourage positive restaurant reviews

Restaurant reputation goes beyond managing online reviews. To boost positive reviews, your restaurant marketing needs some tweaks as follows:

1. Keep one step ahead

You don’t want to wait till dissatisfied guests leave your restaurant, return home, and write a negative review about your place and service. Rather, encourage your staff to reach out to them while they’re dining in. This way, you’ll prevent a bad review from being posted by going only one step further with your restaurant marketing.

2. Incentivize online reviews

For many, positive online reviews are key to picking a restaurant. Good restaurant marketing is to ask guests to leave a review, but excellent restaurant marketing is to encourage them to leave one through an incentive. A discount coupon is an effective way to get more customers to give online feedback on your restaurant.

3. Respond to online reviews

Yes, you may not have control over reviews, but you can control the way you handle them. A good response to a negative review could be a smart restaurant marketing move. It shows that you care about what guests think of your brand. And, obviously, responding to positive reviews shouldn’t be overlooked. Replying to both positive and negative reviews helps build the restaurant community you want.

How to respond to reviews

1. Respond timely

Ideally, respond within 24 hours. It shows you are online present,  responsive, and that you take your restaurant marketing seriously.

2. Be considerate

Even if the review is aggressive, keep your response kind, courteous, and considerate. Bear in mind that your goal is to maintain a good image of your restaurant.

3. Don’t play the blame game

Guests aren’t always right. Even if a guest is to blame, respond calmly while stating the facts and acknowledging their issues.

4. Personalize your responses

A great deal of restaurant marketing lies in making your guests feel special. Refrain from copy/paste texts, for when you address your guests personally, you show that you care.

5. Create a template

Your response template should be fixed, yet flexible. Start off by thanking your guest, refer back to something in their review, be positive, acknowledge your mistakes, and always invite them back to your restaurant.

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