Given the neck-to-neck competition between restaurants out there, there is only thing that can conveniently set your restaurant apart from others – Customer Reviews!!
Running a restaurant involves a great deal of hard work, patience and management. A good way to ensure that all of these pay back for you, is to build your reputation and no better way to do this than word-of-mouth recommendations. Foodies are no more interested in commercials and advertisements; what they want is actual experiences and this has brought in a revolutionary digital phenomenon – Online User Reviews.
Customer reviews have become the first line of checklist for most people, especially when deciding to dine at a new restaurant. Even if a restaurant has 10 positive reviews, a single negative review is bound to attract more attention and can easily tempt customer to change his mind.
While there is no harm in spending money to build your brand reputation, it cannot be compared to the benefits that a reliable source like customer reviews can reap in. In fact, reviews can often prove instrumental in deciding the fate of your restaurant.
For those who are unaware about ways to generate these magical reviews, here are few helpful ideas:
Guestbooks – Though considered a retro method by many, this is one of the most convenient and sophisticated ways of collecting some genuine customer reviews. Customers leaving immediately after experiencing the food and service at your restaurant can actually provide you with some valuable feedback (positive/negative). These reviews can easily go as testimonials also for your website.
Review Sites – There are several dedicated websites that can help you collect reviews from your customers. By setting up your restaurant with one of these professional review sites, you can allow customers to view your menu, prices and gallery for leaving a review online. This can help you attain a greater reach and also make it easy for customers to compare restaurants.
Social Media – Having your presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. can make your restaurant easily rate-able. This will also encourage people to talk about you and share reviews of their experience with others, generating free publicity for your restaurant. If you are in the habit of featuring specials at your restaurant, you can easily and instantly update your customers about the same through the social media.
Rewards for Reviews – While the already established restaurants may not face much issues trying to collect customer reviews, it can be really tough for the startups. A simple trick for such startup restaurants is to offer rewards or incentives to customers, for sparing their valuable time to share a review. To keep the cost low, these incentives can be in the form of points that get credited to the customers account, which they can later exchange to avail discounts at your restaurant. This way you can ensure some genuine customer reviews for your restaurant without spending much.
Thus, while good food and good customer service can win applauds for your restaurant, it is equally important that the applauds and achievements are shared and circulated to bring in credibility and reputation for your restaurant.