5 Ways for Bars and Restaurants to Maximize Online Reviews
Today’s bar and restaurant owners and managers know that positive online reviews on Facebook, Yelp, and otherwise, from their guests are worth more than their weight in gold. According to Harvard, just a half-star increase in your social review ratings can increase annual revenue by 5 to 10 percent.
Conversely, negative online reviews can greatly damage your prospects of attracting new customers. In fact, 80 percent of customers have changed their minds about a purchase based solely on the negative reviews they read.
So, whether you have 10 or 1,000 online reviews from guests, make sure that you are using their power and influence to your greatest advantage. Here are 5 ways to put online reviews to work for your bar or restaurant.
1) Keep a close tab on what online reviews say about your bar or restaurant:
Knowing what your guests say about their experience at your bar or restaurant on the Internet, and how to respond to the feedback, is half the battle. Not only do online reviews impact overall sales, but they also provide great insight into what your guests want, and what they don’t want.
2) Work toward continuous improvements, based on your guests’ online feedback:
For instance, you notice recurring complaints about your restaurant’s reservation policy. If that’s the consensus from guests, do something about it by reforming the policy to better meet their needs. Show that you are listening and responding to your customers’ feedback.
3) Reward and thank your guests for speaking up:
The more online reviews that your guests post about your bar or restaurant online, the better. Ultimately, with enough critical mass of happy guests, your 4 and 5-star Yelp reviews will dominate less favorable guest comments. Encourage your loyal customers to share their feedback with others online, and reward them for doing so.
4) Share positive customer feedback on social media, through email, and otherwise:
Don’t let glowing online reviews from your customers go unnoticed. Spread the word by sharing their feedback on your social media pages, email blasts, website, etc. Make sure that your bar or restaurant gets recognized for its excellence.
5) Add personality to your best online reviews:
When you come across a particularly positive or well-written review from your guests, put a creative spin on them to make them stand out from the crowd. Perhaps, you might invite these loyal customers to share photos of their dining experience to accompany the review, or invite them to submit a video testimonial.
As you put these ideas into action, keep in mind that Yelp, while the largest online review platform, is one of countless places that people go to share their feedback and experiences. Don’t leave other opportunities on the table to have guests post online reviews. Other review platforms to investigate include Urbanspoon, Foodspotting, and Menupages, to name a few.
If you enjoyed reading this blog post, you may also find one of our previous blog posts helpful, 9 Ways Your Restaurant Can Get The Most Out Of Yelp.