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Reputation Management: It’s OK to Ask For Restaurant Reviews

Requesting customers to review your restaurant is completely normal and helpful to your restaurant’s reputation management

When you think about it, before sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor, restaurants had shoe boxes with a little opening for customers to drop in a review card. This type of feedback is important for any business owner, but it’s vital for restaurants. Restaurants need to quickly adapt to their customers’ evolving needs and pain points. Additionally, it’s an opportunity to celebrate and reward any and all positive interactions!

Here are some ways you can get customers to review your restaurant and improve your reputation management process:

Make it as Easy as Pie

You want to encourage customers to write reviews. This can be done through email blasts, in-house marketing collateral, or even personal emails after an online order is received. The goal is to be direct, while also making it easy for customers to complete a review. An online link to submit a review (either public or private) or an in-house feedback card that’s easily accessible will help. Reviews are your #1 way to gather customer feedback directly from the source.

Be Real

The best way to get more reviews is to be sincere with customers. If you’re looking for more reviews, ask them. Tell them. Let it be known that you are looking for feedback! If customers don’t know that you are eagerly waiting to hear from them, they won’t make it a priority. In fact, 70% of consumers will leave a review for a business when asked. Asking for a review is a great way to be proactive with your restaurant’s reputation management. Restaurant owners should want to know how customers feel about their restaurant, so ask and they will tell!

Keep Customers Loyal

If you have loyal customers, they will talk about their experiences. You want to encourage this! Your local customers are the most loyal and represent the largest part of your restaurant’s revenue. Building more loyal local customers will help your restaurant’s bottom line more than anything.

Instead of letting these supportive customers slip through your fingers, reward their loyalty and thank them for supporting your restaurant. Create a loyalty program that will keep them coming back for more. You can also consider a referral program so they can help you bring new customers into your restaurant. This can be implemented by allowing loyal customers to provide one-time discounts to their friends (either electronically or in-person).

Incentivize or Not?

When it comes to offering discounts for a review, make sure you follow the rules and regulations behind review sites. Instead of asking customers to “Write an online review for us”, say something like “Check us out on Yelp”. This isn’t directly asking your customers to write a review, as much as informing them where your restaurant is listed online and where they can they leave a review. It can be valuable to use a service like Yelp for the mere fact that 82% of Yelp users said they typically visit Yelp before making a purchase decision.

Show Off Those Reviews

Don’t be afraid to happily market all of your positive reviews.  Look through your reviews and pick out some that are positive and sincere. Figure out what marketing channel is most beneficial to you – Instagram, Facebook, Email, Print – and post those positive reviews. About 57% of customers will visit a company’s website after reading a positive review. If you are pulling reviews from a third party site like Yelp, educate yourself on their posting guidelines, such as providing proper attribution to the source of review.

Activate Your NetWaiter Site

If you want to attract and keep more local customers informed about your restaurant, check out NetWaiter’s restaurant platform and network. You can search for, and activate, your NetWaiter site and app here:

NetWaiter Team

Author NetWaiter Team

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