The internet is a vast world of information, some of this is useful and some not as useful, but growing usage of online reviews are shaping the brand reputation of many restaurants. Websites like tripadvisor and social media features e.g Facebook reviews can deeply influence the perception of a restaurant. The popularity of this is shown by Tripadvisor statistics that at the time state that there are:
385 million reviews and opinions from travellers around the world.
6 million businesses and properties in 135,000 destinations, including: o 4.1 million restaurants
This shows the rising influence that review websites can have on businesses, particularly restaurants as customer service and the food are easily reviewable and can make or break your business.
How can you deal with reviews?
In fact, encourage reviews, invite bloggers and customers to review your restaurant. Offer incentives, like discount off their next meal and this may have a positive influence on your review ;) Of course to get good reviews you need quality food, service etc. But customers are more likely to try a restaurant with a good volume of reviews as opposed to ones with few reviews. It’s not quantity over quality but customers will have more trust for an established restaurant with lots of reviews provided there not all bad!!
The dark side of reviews
You will get negative reviews but a good business will be able to turn a negative into an opportunity. An opportunity to improve a dish, customer service or rethink pricing tactics.
DON’T RESPOND NEGATIVELY to reviews, it may be tempting and it’s really easy to do in the heat of the moment, especially if it’s your business and your protective of it. But you need to engage customers in a positive way to change their perception of your business also they may have useful information that could improve your business even if its hidden amongst angry comments. If you need to, appoint a specialist to handle reviews and comments via your social media.
So there you have it, you’ve been warned, reviews can make or break your business, but if you encourage them and use them as a positive tool to improve your business and come out on top!