5 Ways Your Restaurant Will Benefit from Yelp
As a restaurant owner or manager, you likely already know why having a positive Yelp presence is so important for your business. But in case you need more convincing besides the fact that it attracts more than 120 million unique visitors per month, according to a Berkley research study, a half-star improvement on Yelp’s 5-star rating makes it 30 to 49 percent more likely that a restaurant will sell out for the evening!
If you haven’t paid much attention lately to how you are doing on Yelp, don’t be too hard on yourself. After all you have been pretty busy running your restaurant. But because we know how demanding your schedule is, we want to save you some time by sharing these five easy strategies to make Yelp more effective for your business.
1) Embrace Yelp, don’t be a hater:
Like it or not, Yelp is a powerful marketing tool today’s restaurants need to strengthen their reputation and bring guests through the door. The good news is that with the right attitude and know-how Yelp can add tremendous value to your business. The first step is embracing Yelp and recognizing what it can do for your restaurant.
2) Encourage loyal guests to post a review without bribing them:
Your loyal customers will be glad to put in a good word for your restaurant on Yelp. To encourage them to take action, simply ask them courteously to publish a review. But don’t try to incentivize them with coupons or free food and drinks in exchange for their review and don’t ask them specifically for a positive review. Not only is it poor etiquette, it goes against Yelp’s policies.
3) Respond to negative reviews promptly and professionally:
No matter how great your restaurant is, there will always be a critic. If you do flag some negative reviews about your restaurant on Yelp, respond to the guest promptly and courteously. But avoid getting a hot head over it which will only intensify the situation. For more advice on how to handle negative Yelp reviews, you may find this article interesting.
4) Claim and optimize your Yelp listing:
Make the most out of your Yelp listing by claiming it and optimizing your restaurant’s presence with photos, your restaurant’s current address and contact information, hours of operation, etc. Make your Yelp profile shine and don’t forget to add photos!
5) Be prepared for the newly implemented restaurant inspection scores on Yelp:
Not that it should be an excuse to make your restaurant’s cleanliness a top priority, but restaurant owners should be aware of Yelp’s new feature which makes restaurant hygiene scores visible to its users. Yelp’s new restaurant inspection scores first rolled out in the cities of New York and San Francisco and are quickly being followed by other U.S. markets.
These basic strategies will help you to get the most out of Yelp and grow your business. To find out how other restaurateurs are dealing with Yelp, you may also find this article on Eater.com interesting, entitled Chefs and Restaurateurs Weigh In: How to Handle Yelp.