Every business today is becoming an internet business. That’s because more and more people are using online services to research products and services, compare them, read reviews, and trust recommendations from others. Nowadays, people are also increasingly focusing on their privacy while shopping online.
No matter if you own a brick-and-mortar store or not, your restaurant will always be seen through the lens of the local community which means that if they don’t feel welcomed or safe, they won’t even consider visiting again.
To get more customers into your restaurant, read this article for 8 tips for getting online reviews for your restaurant.
Type of Online Reviews
Before Diving into the tips, we have to look at the type of reviews you get.
Product Online Reviews
You want to look at what type of online reviews you are getting for your products. This can be looked at in two ways. The first way is to look at the type of reviews you are getting for specific products. Let’s look at an example. If you own a BBQ restaurant, you want to make sure you are getting reviews for your BBQ sauces.
This isn’t to say you want everyone to write a review on your BBQ sauce. What you want is for people to decide on your sauce before they walk into your restaurant. Now, if you look at the other end of the spectrum, you want to make sure you are getting reviews for your restaurant overall. This can be done in a couple of ways as well.
One way is to look at the overall star rating your reviews have. The other way is to look at the comments and how people are responding to your restaurant overall.
Service Online Reviews
Next, you want to look at the service side of things for your online reviews. This can be looked at in two ways. The first way is to look at the type of service you are getting for specific services.
Let’s look at an example. If you are a restaurant that offers delivery, you want to make sure you are getting a lot of delivery reviews. Now, if you look at the other end of the spectrum, you want to make sure you are getting reviews for the overall service of your restaurant.
This can be done in a couple of ways as well. One way is to look at the overall star rating your reviews have. The other way is to look at the comments and how people are responding to your restaurant overall.
Employee Online Reviews
Next, you want to look at the type of online reviews you are getting for your employees. This can be looked at in two ways. The first way is to look at the type of reviews you are getting for specific employees.
Let’s look at an example. If you have a manager at your restaurant, you want to make sure you are getting reviews for them. What you don’t want to do is to look at the type of reviews you are getting for the manager. What you want to do is look at the type of reviews you are getting for your employees as a whole.
8 Tips For Getting Online Reviews
1. Stay Authentic
You should always aim to stay authentic when promoting your brand online. This means posting things that are related to your brand and what your city is about. For example, if your restaurant is about seafood, then you should post about local events that are relevant to seafood.
If you are in a small city, you should also think about how you can promote your brand in other ways. For example, how can you get people to talk about how amazing your restaurant is or how great your service is?
2. Provide Great Service
Another key aspect of getting online reviews is providing great service. You can’t just offer great food and beverages and hope people will leave reviews. You also have to create a great experience for your guests. When a customer walks in your door, they should feel welcome and valued.
If a guest walks into your restaurant and feels as if they were just a number, they will likely never come back again. You can create a great experience for your guests by trying to greet them when they walk in, remembering their names and what they ordered, et cetera. You can also create a great experience for your customers by responding to guest reviews.
If a guest leaves a review for your restaurant, you can respond to that review by thanking them for their kind words, telling them why their experience was subpar, and offering suggestions on what they did well and what they can do to make their next experience better.
3. Create An Account With Yelp, Google & Other Local Platforms
Every city has at least one local review website where people can write restaurant reviews. These websites are your best friend when it comes to getting online reviews for your restaurant.
Although some of these websites also accept online reviews from outside the city, many of them specifically focus on your city and its residents. These websites are your best bet for two reasons:
First, they are entirely local and not owned by a giant corporation. Second, they offer better technology and features to help you get more reviews. Some of the most popular review sites for restaurateurs include:
4. Respond To Your Reviews
If you own a restaurant, you should always aim to respond to all online reviews. This doesn’t mean you have to write an essay about how great your food and service are but it does mean you should always be checking reviews and responding to people who had issues or questions. Think of it as your opportunity to “set the record straight.”
Sometimes, people will ask a question or express an opinion – but they misread your restaurant or what your brand is really about. If someone asks a question that you feel is completely off base, then you have no problem addressing it. You must address any questions people have.
It could be something as simple as pointing out where the food came from and how it was grown. It could be something as in-depth as pointing out how your staff is trained or how your food is sourced. You don’t have to tell people everything but you do have an obligation to at least address the questions people are asking.
5. Become A Brand Ambassador
Many restaurant owners shy away from branded social media like Facebook and Twitter because it seems too “commercial.” But these platforms are the best way to get your brand into the local community which is especially important if you don’t have many online reviews yet. Your best bet is to start a personal account on Facebook and a professional account on LinkedIn.
You should then use your account to engage with friends, family, and business associates. When you post a picture, you should always make sure to include a caption that includes your restaurant’s name. You should also use your account to create Facebook ads so people have a chance to see your posts and potentially click on them.
You should also use your professional account to create posts for your brand. This can be as small as promoting a contest related to a local event. It could also be promoting an upcoming sale or event at your restaurant.
6. Set Up A Live Chat On Company Website
Every company should have a live chat on its website. This is especially important if your company serves a local community and people need to contact you for non-food-related reasons. If you live in a small or rural city, you will see many people who need help with things like home improvement issues, internet or TV service, and roof repair.
Even if your city doesn’t usually have issues like these, it’s still worth having a live chat just in case someone needs it. When setting up your live chat, you should make sure to choose the correct platform.
You should also make sure to include your restaurant’s name in the header. You should then make sure to include questions or issues related to your brand in the footer. You should also make sure to reply to people who ask questions or leave comments on your posts.
7. Hold Regular Events In Your Restaurant
If you don’t already have a community room or meeting place in your restaurant, then you should consider holding regular events. You can focus on local or national events that are relevant to your city, such as sports events. When planning your events, you should think about how you can get more reviews on Yelp, Google, and other review websites.
Most of all, you should make sure to promote your events on social media. You should also consider holding contests and other activities where people can earn rewards like Yelp’s free food vouchers.
8. Don’t Overlook The Virtual Doorstep
Many businesses today are seeing the value of virtual reality technology. This includes virtual restaurant doorstops where you set up a camera and food props so people can take a selfie in front of them.
Virtual reality technology is especially important if you want to get more online reviews for your restaurant. It can help you get more authentic photos and videos which will help you get more reviews and brand exposure on social media.
Whether you own a local restaurant or a national brand, you need to start getting reviews on Yelp, Google, and other review websites. These reviews will help you expand your business and get more customers into your doors.
For best results, you should use local review websites and social media platforms. These will help you get as many reviews as possible so you can boost your online reputation.
Now, there are so many ways you can get online reviews for your restaurant. What you want to do is to make sure you are making every effort to get those online reviews. This is not only important for your restaurant but your overall online reputation.
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What Are Online Reviews: Introduction For Newbies
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