If you are a restaurant owner, reviews can be your best friend or worst enemy. Online reviews can also be downright scary. You have no idea who is reviewing you, and if a person who loves to review walks in on a bad day in your restaurant, it could mean gloom and doom for your business. For example, we’ve all heard of the restaurant who received terrible online reviews and it killed business. And vice-versa. Excellent reviews can nicely publicize a restaurant. So how do you guarantee good reviews?
You first have to let go of the notion you can guarantee anything. That is false hope. On reviewing websites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Chowhound, OpenTable, etc. you never know what a diner is going to say. For example, he or she may have been nice to your face at the restaurant but then writes a scathing review online. However, you can help your business by inviting reviewers in from local newspapers, magazines, and blogs to review it. Simply write a press release and send it out to these places, or contact each one individually. Tell them if you have a big event, such as a grand opening, reopening, charity event, holiday party, etc.
As restaurant owner, it is your responsibility to keep your website and online information up to date. Obtaining current information is absolutely imperative for reviewers. They must research the menus, hours, location, photos, and any other specialized information. For instance, if a reviewer goes to look up specials for tonight’s dinner service and they’re not there or they’re from last night, it can make your restaurant look bad. Social media should be as updated as possible. There should be a buildup to an event. Guest reviews and testimonials on the website can help as well. Many reviewers like to read the back story of how the business started and especially about the chef and the owner. Provide that story for them, so they don’t have to do the legwork. A frustrating point can be when restaurants do not list their hours on their website. The contact information and hours should be clearly marked and easily found.
Being a successful restaurant owner and receiving good reviews starts with a great website. It needs to impress restaurant reviewers and potential diners to bring them into the restaurant. If you’d like help improving your restaurant’s website, please contact us at Qdiner.com. We’ve had years of expertise in SEO, social media, content creation, and management of websites, especially in regard to top search results in Google. If you’d like to improve your restaurant’s visibility, please contact us at 617-816-2969 or use our contact form.