How To Get Glowing Reviews for your Restaurant and Fill More Tables
It’s time for dinner and the question “where should we eat?” comes up.
The immediate next steps are to go online, search for a specific restaurant or “restaurants near me”, read the menu and the reviews.
Fortunately, both the menu and the reviews are something you, as a restauranteur or restaurant manager, can influence.
We’ll leave the menu to your chef, but your restaurant’s reputation and reviews are what we’re going to talk about here.
This article will help you understand the importance of online reputation management for your restaurant and the best practices to get more reviews.
Bonus: we’ll look at two restaurants who now have a GLOWING online reputation!
Why are online reviews essential for your restaurant?
Essential. Crucial. Not-to-be-understated.
These are a few of the reasons why your restaurant will benefit from managing your online reputation and collecting reviews:
Reviews attract new customers
Diners rely heavily on the opinions and experiences of others when choosing where to eat. Seeing lots of recent four and five-star ratings for a restaurant can cement the decision of potential customers browsing through dining option after dining option.
33% of consumers say online reviews play a very important role in deciding to go to a food and drink business, while 43% say they play an important part.
This means that having a good number of reviews can make your restaurant more attractive to over 76% of restaurant-goers, increasing the number of reservations your restaurant receives.
And as we all know, more reservations equals more sales, and more sales means more profit. 💥
Take a look at this restaurant, for example. Based on their Google Business Profile, I can see that hundreds of people had a good experience eating here. Plus, right under the stellar review count and star rating, I can easily make a reservation – it’s enticing! Anybody else want wings?!
(Psst! If this is something you would like for your restaurant, keep reading, we’ll go into details near the bottom of this article)
Reviews improve your online search rankings (SEO)
- Google-based reviews
- Third-party review sites
- First-party reviews on your website
Experts have seen a steady increase in the perceived importance of reviews for SEO from 2013 to 2021.
The impact of reviews on your SEO rankings depends on many factors. These include the recency of the review, how frequently the restaurant gets reviews, and the diversity of platforms your business receives feedback on.
All-in-all, not only do the frequency and recency of your reviews matter to potential customers, reviews matter to search engines like Google too.
Reviews increase trust in your business
Reviews are a powerful tool for building lasting relationships with customers.
While responding to negative reviews can improve your relationship with an unhappy diner, responding to positive reviews solidifies an existing bond.
This is one way to create trust in your business and encourage repeat customers.
So, how can you harness the power of reviews and use it to your benefit? Read on.
How can you get more reviews for your restaurant?
Diner reviews - positive or negative - are necessary for your restaurant to evolve and improve. However, many consumers are reluctant to give direct feedback.
You should try to make the review process as easy and quick as possible for the best results.
Here are a handful of ways to encourage diners to leave more reviews, or if you’re ready to dive in you can see a huge list of strategies, here.
Start by asking
Sounds simple, but being proactive and asking for reviews shows customers that their feedback matters. If you are going to start asking for reviews, be sure to have an easy way for your customers to leave them. **More on this below :)
Create a process
While asking is the first step, it’s ideal to have a process in place that your staff and company know to follow. This can include knowing when to ask, and what to say when they’re asking.
Having your staff mention to the diners that they hope they had a “5-star experience” and that they’d appreciate them leaving a review will prime the customer to take action and make it more likely that they’ll do it.
Engage on social media
Social media is a popular place for customers to interact with restaurants and leave feedback.
You should track any mentions of your restaurant on social media and connect with happy (and unhappy) customers. If a diner had an excellent experience at your eatery, encourage them to leave a review on your official listings.
You can also use NiceJob’s Social Sharing feature to curate and customize your customer reviews and share them on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter.
Share your reviews
Start sharing the reviews your restaurant gets on your website, social media, and in others forms of marketing your business takes part in. When potential customers see your reviews, not only are they more likely to dine at your eatery, but are also more likely to share their own feedback as well.
Here’s an example of a restaurant that displays reviews on their website - it’s no accident that this review is showcased right near the “reserve” button.
Use physical request cards
Add a small note card to delivery bags or takeaway boxes requesting customers leave you a review. Keep the content short and include all relevant details, such as links to your listing pages and social media handles.
Ask at the moment of peak excitement
The best time to ask a customer to leave a review is when they are most excited or happy with their service. At a restaurant, this will be after they’ve finished eating your delicious food!
How Your Restaurant Can Stand Out From The Others
There's endless food options out there, but naturally you want people to pick your restaurant. Reviews are a surefire way to help more people pick your restaurant over allllll the others.
But asking for reviews can be challenging for restaurant owners/managers because:
- You’re busy running a restaurant
- You only have one in-person chance to ask
- You don’t have a way to follow-up with restaurant goers after they've left your establishment
Good news is, there’s an awesome solution.
Get more reviews with Libro + NiceJob
Restaurant reviews play a major role in attracting more diners, increasing reservations, and boosting profits.
Libro is a leading reservation platform that can be integrated with NiceJob to automatically ask diners for reviews once their reservation has been closed. This is the perfect time to ask for the review since the diner will be happy, post an enjoyable meal.
This software combo has worked very well for our restaurant partners. Gon Bui, a restaurant in Montreal, has jumped from 97 reviews to 931 reviews since starting with NiceJob and Libro. Plus, they have implemented social proof tools on their website to really capitalize on their reputation.
Birdhouse Wingerie & Bar gained 91 new reviews in their first month using the Libro-NiceJob combo — a massive 300% increase!