5 Surefire Ways to Boost Your Hospitality Service Reviews

Management 10 minute read 22nd July 2022

Let’s get straight to the point: your customers, whether you run a restaurant, cafe, bar, or any other business in the hospitality industry, are checking out online reviews before they book their table or settle on a place to visit.

How do we know?

Simply because we’re all at it. With online reviews a mere thumb-swipe away on our mobile devices, it’s easier than ever to look up what’s hot and what’s not, and to gain insight into what customers are saying about your venue.

What’s more, these reviews are making a real and lasting difference.

Research has stated that 91% of consumers [https://www.brightlocal.com/research/local-consumer-review-survey/?SSAID=314743&SSCID=51k6_p4tl1] say that great reviews encourage them to visit or make use of a business.

how-to-boost-hospitality-service-reviews-WP-001

As if that wasn’t enough to convince you of their importance, it’s restaurants and other hospitality businesses that reviews most strongly affect, with customers relying on good and bad feedback alike to make their choices of where to eat, drink, and spend their time and money.

When your hospitality business gets good online reviews, it sends a clear message far and wide: that you’re providing great service, great food, and a reliable experience that’s sure to be enjoyed.

Want to succeed in an increasingly interconnected and online world? Boosting your hospitality service reviews should be high on your agenda.

Let’s look at five methods to get more stars, more positive feedback, and more customers through your door.

How to Increase Positive Reviews for a Hospitality Business

As mentioned, restaurant, cafe and bar reviews make a significant impact on customers’ decisions, and have the power to drive bookings that lead to ongoing success.

What’s more, positive engagement and reviews also help you build a community of customers - your very own tribe in both a virtual and actual space - which can lead to strong client loyalty, return custom, and the kind of regulars that will see you through thick and thin.

Who wouldn’t want a slice of that? ## Develop Your Online Presence In 2022, there’s no more doubt about how your potential customers are looking for places to eat and drink.

They’re going online, and searching directly for good restaurants and venues in their area.

As such, unless you have a strong online presence - and by ‘strong’, we mean accurate, regularly updated, and with a reliable website and social media presence - you’re not going to be able to compete, or gain traction through good restaurant reviews.

If your business listing is dull, outdated, difficult to find or lacking any interactivity, not only will your customers struggle to find you, they certainly won’t be motivated to leave you reviews.

A good website works wonders, and having some online savvy is nothing short of essential in this day and age.

If you’re not making the most of Google reviews, you’re in a vanishingly small minority, too. A staggering 99% of restaurants have Google reviews, and the average number of reviews per restaurant? Amazingly, it’s 223 per restaurant or cafe.

how-to-boost-hospitality-service-reviews-WP-002

Want Good Restaurant Reviews? Ask for Them!

The old adage ‘don’t ask, don’t get’ certainly holds some weight here.

Your online presence will allow your hospitality business to really connect and engage with your community of customers, and by regularly updating your socials or website with great content, you’ll build a dynamic and interactive tribe with whom you’ll have some real rapport.

In this instance, you’re in a great position to ask your regulars or most active online customers to leave a positive review of your hospitality business, and help spread word-of-mouth to those who would love to visit your establishment.

The same approach could apply to your mailing list or SMS marketing strategy [https://beambox.com/small-business-SMS-marketing-guide], and you may be surprised with how many 5 star restaurant reviews an approach like this will lead to!

If your restaurant is not too formal, you could even ask for your customers to leave a review after you’ve settled payment for a meal. This will come down to what feels right at the time - you’ll certainly need to judge their temperament and approachability first!

Respond Positively to All Your Reviews

When customers see responses to online reviews, it lets them know that the team behind the scenes genuinely cares about their community and reputation, and is willing to listen to all kinds of feedback.

The impact this can make is often highly significant, and should not be overlooked.

Sure, it can be tempting to give those leaving negative reviews a piece of your mind, especially if they’re delivered in an ill-mannered way, or are based on misunderstandings or all-out wrong-headedness.

A bit of creativity in this regard can go a long way, but it’s best to leave the ire and snark to others!

However, responding constructively to negative feedback is a powerful marketing move.

how-to-boost-hospitality-service-reviews-WP-003

It signals that you’re willing to listen and to try to right wrongs, and it gives you an opportunity to possibly retain a customer and - best case scenario - get them to consider changing their negative restaurant review into a positive one! ## (Tastefully) Incentivise Good Reviews This is potentially tricky ground, as you don’t want it to look as though you’re swapping freebies for good reviews of your hospitality business. However, there are ways of making this work, without it leaving a bad taste in anyone’s mouth.

For example, you could offer comp meals to those who left a less-than-satisfactory review, which is actually a pretty good way to encourage positive word-of-mouth and potentially get bad reviews removed or changed in your favour.

Or, you could use positive reviews as springboards to interact and engage with your customers.

If someone leaves you an absolutely stellar review online, get in touch with them and let them know they’re in for a free drink or appetiser (or whatever suits) next time they pop in.

Not only will this boost loyalty, they’re likely to tell everyone about it too. ## Repost, Retweet, and Spread the Love Customers just can’t get enough of it when their thoughts and comments are given attention, and reposting reviews and even a simple retweet can help boost loyalty and engagement.

Again, it’s all part of showing you care, and making your client base feel like they’re part of the family.

Another angle on this is highlighting reviews and feedback on your website’s front page, or creating social media posts complete with funky fonts and pretty colours, of course made from customer comments.

Never Overlook the Importance of Positive Hospitality Reviews

Here at Beambox, we’ve seen - time after time after time - the lasting impression that good reviews for hospitality businesses can make.

If you’re not out there doing all you can to encourage them, you’re not just missing out on good publicity, you’re missing out on a game-changing source of free marketing that leads to full bookings and repeat custom!

Related posts