Requesting customers to review your restaurant is completely normal and acceptable nowadays. When you think about it, before the world of Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Urbanspoon, you had shoeboxes with a little opening where you could drop a review card for businesses. This type of feedback is important to any business owner, but it is vital for restaurants specifically, because owners want to quickly adapt to their customers evolving needs. More importantly, it’s a time where you can celebrate and reward any and all positive interactions! Here are some ways you can get your customers to review your restaurant:

Make it as Easy as Pie

You want to be encouraging when it comes to asking customers to leave reviews. This can be done through email surveys, in-house comment forms, or even follow-up personal emails after an online order is placed. The goal of these methods is to be direct while also making it as easy as possible for customers to complete the action. Reviews are your #1 way to gather customer research directly from the source.

Let’s Be Real

The best way to get more reviews is to be as sincere to your customers. If you are 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. People want to know how customers feel about your restaurant, so ask your customers to tell them!

Keep Your Customers Loyal

If you have loyal customers, they will be sure to talk about their experiences. Instead of letting these supportive customers slip through your fingers, reward their loyalty and thank them for supporting your restaurant with a discount. Create a loyalty program that will keep them coming back for more. You could also consider integrating a referral program into your business as well so they can bring new customers to your restaurant since 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business.  Take the time to build a strategy that will help you gather reviews from these customers.

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 or telling them to “Write a review for us on Yelp,” say “Check us out on Yelp.” This isn’t directly asking your customers to write a review as much as informing them that your restaurant is listed on Yelp where they can they decide whether or not they want to leave a review. It is valuable to utilize 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 positive reviews. If you are pulling reviews from a third party site like Yelp, educate yourself on their posting guidelines such as getting permission from the reviewer and providing attribution to Yelp as the source of review before promoting them yourself.

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