7 Ways to Get More Online Reviews For Your Restaurant
Updated: Jun 21
If you have gotten a few negative reviews for your restaurant, naturally, you are always looking forward to getting more positive reviews to make up for all the bad feedback, right?
But how can we get more online reviews?
Generally, you need to get more reviews because the more reviews you get, which are hopefully more positive ones, the better.
For instance, there are 3 negative ones but there are 20 positive ones, people will still see that as balance.
We always want to have good reviews, of course, so let's understand what customers want and give it to them.
And what do customers want? It's pretty simple, they want friendly service, they want food to be accurate and taste good, and they want their order now so don't make them wait for too long.
So here are 7 different ways for you to get more online reviews:
1. The Bottom of your Receipt - it’s easy to edit the bottom of your receipt in the POS system.
For example, “Happy with your meal? Please go to Yelp or Google + and leave us a review”.
On the other hand, a way to handle poor experiences would be, “Had a bad experience? Please email us at ____ so we can make it right”.
By just simply adding the text samples at the bottom of your receipt that I mentioned above, it will definitely help you get more reviews.
It is easy and will not cost you money, so better include that to your receipt now!
2. Email Management - we have a database full of our customer’s email addresses that we use to send a weekly email regarding our specials or deals.
If you still don't have this in your system, you should set up one now because you may be missing a lot of opportunities to market your restaurant and grow your sales.
We must get in touch with our customers for them to know we care and value their business with us, as well as to encourage them to come back and see us again.
If you do send an email out regularly, it is critical to ensure that you have a permanent section there where you are asking people to leave you a review.
This should let them to assess how are you doing as a restaurant business and what can you do to improve your food or service.
If customers truly care about your business that they are willfully opening your emails, and if you ask them enough, hopefully, they will give you positive reviews.
However, we need to make it easy for our customers to give us feedback by simply including the link in your email for them to take the review so they can just click it and do it quickly.
3. Regular Customers - we all have them and know them by name.
Ask them personally from time to time to go leave you a review on one of the different sites.
For instance, one of our regular customers, Jeff, comes in about 4 times a week since he works nearby.
He would be perfect to write a review since he knows our place so well.
We can say, for example, "Hey Jeff, I would really appreciate it if you would take the time even if it's right now to go to our Yelp and leave us a review."
4. Social Media Management - how many times do you post on social media?
Indirectly, take a screenshot of a positive review and repost, saying for example, “Thank you so much, John, we appreciate your positive comments and look forward to seeing you again soon. Would you mind leaving us a review on Yelp or Google +? It would really help our business.”
Give them 2 or 3 link options for social media sites that you use and make it easy for them.
Posting on social media and scheduling that once a month or once every few weeks will make it effective.
5. Giveaways - reward those people that leave you an online review, whether positive or negative.
It’s tricky, but you need to respond to each and every one. For a positive review, we thank them and as a token of our appreciation, we send them a gift certificate by email.
If it’s a negative review, all the more we have a reason to respond like, "I’m so sorry you had a bad experience at our restaurant. Please send us an email. We would like to treat you to a gift certificate in hopes that you will give us another chance to make it right.”
We want people to understand that we care about the quality of food and service they receive from us.
The reward is not that much, breadsticks or a dessert, but it’s the thought behind it that matters.
That's the reason why we give freebies to both positive and negative reviews.
A simple gift or token can definitely encourage a customer to leave a review.
It might even wow them that we incentivize any kind of reviews, either good or bad, they will get a reward.
Word of mouth is very important so be generous in giving incentives.
6. Business Website - is it prominent on your webpage where to find your restaurant’s reviews?
People are searching websites for a good, reliable place to dine and they’re reading the reviews to get ideas about their prospect restaurants.
Make them finally decide that yours is the best among the rest. Make it easy for them by posting an example of what others have said. Make it convenient for them to add a review later.
7. Four Walls Marketing - are there places on your walls that reflect how you use and value review sites?
It’s as simple as putting a decal on your window reflecting TripAdvisor, Yelp, or other sites where you can be found. You will find that 1 out of 10 customers will actually read and leave a review based on the marketing, but every bit helps.
It typically takes a phenomenal experience or a very poor one for people to leave a review. If the experience is just mediocre, you just "met" their expectations, they usually don’t leave one.
So it is always good to go above and beyond service to exceed our customer's expectations so we can get more positive reviews.
Everyone wants more positive reviews, so the more reviews you have, the better. The good reviews will balance out the poor ones.
Continue to give customers what they want and they’ll respond with positive reviews for your business.
Keep them happy and do everything you can to right any wrongs so they’ll keep coming back.
We hope these tips have helped you get useful ideas on how you can have more reviews.
You may now try using one or two for your restaurant every week.
We also have a 7 step template as to how we respond to negative reviews, please click on this link now: https://www.makingdoughshow.com/resources to help you increase your online reviews.
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