When growing your restaurant, no matter how fantastic your service is, you need to get reviews. Customers check restaurant review sites before choosing where to dine; therefore, you want to be on those platforms. However, being there is not enough. You have to stand out.
Unfortunately, the growing competition to get customers’ attention on these sites makes everything harder. How to grow your rating on those platforms, then?
This guide will give you all the information you need to grow your rating on restaurant review sites. Read more to learn how these platform works, how to get more reviews, and how to grow on any platform.
Local Restaurant Review Sites: Why They Are Important for Your Business
Before moving to the guide, let’s clarify why local restaurant review sites are essential. To start, the concept of local disappeared with the arrival of the internet. Wherever you run your business, your potential customers will likely check the most famous local review sites. If you have been in this business for a while, you know which platforms are the most important (however, the next section will explore each of them.)
Therefore, being present on these sites and possibly standing out is the key to getting more customers to your restaurant. It is true that some people still rely on the old fashion way of asking around; however, that is a small percentage of customers. It is also important to mention that there are other ways to attract customers and build loyalty, and you must also explore those ways. However, you can’t refrain from positioning yourself on sites for restaurant reviews. They are too important for your success.
However, the good news is that you don’t need to be present on every site that hosts reviews. You should pick the ones relevant to your business and your area. Then, you will focus on growing on those platforms.
Let’s look at the best sites where you should be present and receive reviews.
Which Are the Best Restaurant Review Sites?
When it comes to review sites, there’s plenty of choice. However, the best restaurant review sites are just a few. While the following platforms are the most prominent, more local review sites might be popular in your area. Therefore, depending on your location, you should pick the platforms where you want to grow.
Google Maps is the go-to choice for most people worldwide. With its vast user base and integration with Google Search, having your establishment well-positioned on Maps is essential. If your business is well-rated, it will appear without users needing to zoom in. So you will get much more attention. This app lets users find important information such as location, contact details, and opening hours. They can also read reviews from other customers. Getting more reviews on Google can significantly enhance your restaurant’s visibility.
Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms and offers a valuable avenue for restaurants to engage with customers. After creating a business page on Facebook, you can showcase your restaurant, share updates, post photos, and interact with customers directly. Positive reviews and engagement on Facebook can generate social proof and increase brand awareness among your target audience. Plus, if you have a good following, you can leverage it to create more effective restaurant advertising.
TripAdvisor is a popular platform specifically dedicated to travel and dining experiences. It attracts millions of users searching for restaurant recommendations worldwide. By claiming and optimizing your restaurant’s listing on TripAdvisor, you can actively manage your online reputation, respond to reviews, and attract customers. Getting positive reviews on TripAdvisor can significantly impact your restaurant’s credibility.
Let’s now explore how to grow on restaurant review sites.
Restaurant Review Sites: How To Grow on Any Platform
There are endless strategies when it comes to growing on restaurant review sites. However, the basics for growth never change. Here are the essential tips to help your restaurant grow on any review site.
- Curate your profile: Take the time to curate and optimize your profile on each review platform. Ensure your business information is accurate and updated. Especially phone numbers, location on Maps, and operating hours. Provide a compelling description that highlights the unique aspects of your restaurant.
- Showcase your venue’s best sides: Use qualitative photos to showcase your venue, dishes, and restaurant’s theme. Invest in professional photography or enlist the help of a skilled photographer to capture the essence of your restaurant. Visual appeal is crucial in enticing potential customers.
- Get reviews (and respond to them): Encourage customers to leave reviews on review platforms. Moreover, monitor what people say and respond to all positive or negative reviews. You will read more on this later.
- Update your profile regularly: Keep your profile updated with the latest information about your restaurant, such as menu changes, special promotions, or upcoming events. This helps potential customers stay informed and demonstrates that your business is active and engaged. Regular updates also signal to review platforms and search engines that your business is relevant and deserves higher visibility.
- Engage with customers: Engage with customers beyond review responses. Interact with them on social media, respond to comments and messages, and foster community. Building customer relationships can encourage loyalty toward your business and attract more customers.
- Monitor competitor profiles: Monitor your competitors’ profiles and reviews to gather insights into their strengths and weaknesses. Then, identify areas where you can differentiate yourself and provide a better experience.
3 Proven Methods To Get More Reviews
Restaurant review sites are mostly about reviews. There are many reasons why reviews are important; however, you can be sure that people will read them before deciding to dine at your place.
There are countless strategies to get more reviews on local review sites; however, the best methods are always the simplest:
1. Ask for it: One of the simplest and most effective ways to get more reviews is by asking your customers to leave feedback. That’s it. However, any business owners neglect this simple method. The best thing to do is to train your staff to politely and genuinely request reviews from satisfied patrons. You can do this at the checkout or when customers are satisfied with their dining experience.
2. Make it easy to leave a review: Simplify the review process for your customers by making it as convenient as possible. One way to achieve this is by utilizing QR codes directly linking to your restaurant’s review page on your preferred site. Place these QR codes strategically around your establishment or provide that along with the bill. This is one of the most powerful forms of QRcode marketing; therefore, be sure to take advantage of it.
3. Automate the process with software: Use technology to streamline the review collection process. WiFi marketing software, for example, can automatically send prompts to users connected to your venue’s WiFi network, encouraging them to leave a review. You can customize these prompts with personalized messages and links to your preferred review platforms. You can also revert negative feedback into internal forms and preserve your rating. Automating the process saves time and increases the likelihood of receiving reviews.
Unfortunately, though, reviews are not always positive. Let’s talk about that.
Restaurant Review Sites: How To Deal With Bad Reviews
While no business wants to receive negative feedback, handling bad reviews professionally and constructively is important. Negative reviews can ruin your rating on any restaurant review site. However, you can turn them into opportunities for improvement and demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction.
The most important thing to do is to stay calm. Feeling defensive or upset when encountering a negative review is natural, but it’s crucial to remain calm and avoid taking it personally. Remember that reviews are subjective opinions, not a reflection of your worth as a business owner. Then, it is essential to answer in a timely manner. Avoid being defensive or dismissive. Take the time to understand the customer’s perspective and offer a genuine apology for any negative experiences they may have had. This shows you value their feedback and care about providing an excellent experience.
If possible, offer to take the conversation offline to discuss the issue and find a resolution. Especially if this happens on social media. Provide contact information or invite the reviewer to reach out to you directly. This demonstrates your willingness to address the situation privately and work towards a satisfactory resolution. Another important thing is perspective. Rather than viewing negative reviews as personal attacks, approach them as opportunities to identify areas for growth. Analyze the feedback for common themes or recurring issues and use it as a catalyst for improvement.
Lastly, counterbalance negative reviews by proactively encouraging satisfied customers to leave positive reviews. This will make the positive reviews seem even more genuine.
A Bad Restaurant Review Example (And the Perfect Answer)
Let’s make an example of a bad restaurant review example to see how you can answer. Here’s what a customer might say:
“During my recent visit to (AwesomeRestaurant), I found the service slow and the food to be mediocre. The staff seemed disinterested and inattentive. I had huge expectations but was disappointed with the overall dining experience.”
There are many fantastic ways to respond to negative reviews like this. However, if you don’t want to get creative, this is a template that can work most of the time:
“Dear (Disgruntled customer’s name),
Thank you for sharing your feedback about your recent visit to (AwesomeRestaurant). We apologize for the slow service and the underwhelming quality of the food. We strive to provide exceptional service and delicious meals, and we regret that we fell short of your expectations on this occasion.
We would like to gather more information about your visit to understand the specifics of your experience. Please provide us with the date and time of your visit and any specific details about the staff members or dishes involved. It would greatly assist us in addressing the issues you’ve raised.
We value your feedback and invite you to return to (AwesomeRestaurant). Our management team would be delighted to personally oversee your next visit, ensuring you receive the exceptional service and culinary experience we strive to provide.
Please feel free to contact us at (contact information) to discuss your experience further or to make a reservation for your next visit. We genuinely value your patronage and look forward to making it right and regaining your trust.
There’s More to Restaurant Review Sites To Grow Your Business
covering the basics and applying wit strategies to get more reviews or to answer negative reviews. However, the most important thing is to provide an exceptional dining experience to your customers. Ensure that everything is perfect and that your services match people’s expectations. When possible, overdeliver. At that point, growing your rating will be a matter of time.
If you want to grow your venue’s popularity on local review sites, check Beambox. With our WiFi marketing solution, you can automate getting reviews and other marketing initiatives. Furthermore, you can customize your captive portal to match your branding while securing the guest’s network from common cyberattacks.
Over 12,000 venues use Beambox to grow their reputation online and scale their operations. Do you want to be next? Try out Beambox for free.
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