Monday, January 18, 2016

Monitoring all your restaurant reviews.

It's no secret that the most widely used  restaurant review site should be checked by restaurants on a consistent basis, at least once of week. Diners use it more than most would like to admit. There are those who post their reviews to it regularly and there are those who rely on it to decide where they are going to eat. The idea that your business success can be influenced by one review site alone is false. There are many more sites out there that need to be monitored just as religiously as well.

The review sites you should remember to check regularly are: Yelp, TripAdvisor, OpenTable, Zomato, Facebook, and Google+. allows you to edit your profile

Restaurants should monitor their listings on all review sites, not just for reviews, but to see if you can "claim" or take control of your restaurant's profile page. Owning the ability to tweak your profile is step one. Take care to provide an accurate and interesting description of your restaurant; one that will entice and attract diners. Of course add photos if the site allows it. Post beautiful food photos and shots of your interior, outdoor seating, exterior. It's better to have your professional pictures showing over the amateur shots of diners. Finally, add as many details as possible about your location, hours, and amenities. 

Now pay attention to the reviews.

Obviously it's the poor reviews that should get immediate attention. Scrutinize what the diner is saying. Is it something that is truly in the restaurant's control or is it something that the diner is dragging into the restaurant from their life that really has no pertinence to your food and service? If their criticism is valid, learn from it and think if it is something that needs to be changed or someone on staff that needs to be better trained. Try to handle bad reviews as constructive criticism.

It's good to respond to bad reviews if you can do so with a cool head. Remember that your response will be just as visible as their review and how you come across will be just as, if not more, important than the review itself. It's not necessary to offer free meals otherwise you could open yourself to repeating that. Instead, make your points, apologize if necessary, and invite the diner to give you another chance. 

Don't forget to look at the good reviews. Pull gems from them such as great service from a staffer or a good photograph. Thank the reviewer and consider taking a quote or the photo and posting it on your other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Be sure to credit the diner, preferably just by their first name. If you can, take the kudos to the staff involved and thank or reward them for a job well done. 

Reviews can be aggravating but they can also be helpful learning tools. Keeping an open mind and not snapping to judgement will allow you to benefit from reviews both good and bad.

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