How to improve your restaurant reviews to drive new business

Melanie O'Hanlon
Marketing Associate

Getting good ratings and reviews from your customers via online review sites is just as important as serving them great food. Customers value a business’s reputation, especially if they’re in an unfamiliar location or looking to try something new. We’re diving into why reviews are so important for the success of your business and our best tips for keeping your stars bright and shiny.

Why reviews are important for your business

Bad reviews turn guests away

Diners care about your restaurant’s rating and reviews more than you’d think. A bad review can be a serious detriment to business: 60% of diners read reviews before going out for a meal, and over 33% will not choose to eat in a restaurant with less than a 4-star rating. It’s essential to keep ratings and reviews high so customers aren’t dissuaded before they’ve even come inside.

Guests trust the opinions of other diners

Businesses with higher reviews are likely to bring in more customers. Guests trust other diners and will visit a place anywhere if it has good reviews. 93% form an opinion on whether a business is good based on reviews, not necessarily their own experience. Additionally, 68% of shoppers are more likely to visit a highly praised restaurant to experience the “wow” themselves.

Higher ratings increase revenue and sales

Reviews are only half the battle. A company’s rating is just as important to guests, but even a small improvement can go a long way toward increasing sales. Improving your rating by just a half star on Yelp increases your chances of filling tables by up to 50%. And a full one-star increase of your Yelp rating can lead to as much as a 9% increase in revenue.

How to gain more (and higher) reviews

Incentivize reviews for your customers

Offer discounts or promotions to guests who leave you a review. The possibility of saving a little money on their next visit can persuade many customers to drop a review. As an added incentive, share positive reviews in public spaces like your website and social media channels.

‍To increase the volume of reviews, ask guests for reviews via multiple channels and make sure the messaging is clear and bold. If you include “asks” for reviews on receipts or other in-venue messaging, train employees to point these out to guests after completing their order. Add a link to your preferred review site into all e-receipts, emails, newsletters, and on your website.

Quickly respond to negative reviews

It’s essential for guests to feel like you hear and value their opinions —start by responding to reviews. Bad reviews are especially crucial to respond to; left unattended, bad reviews negatively impact the perception of your brand and dissuade customers from visiting.

Companies like Ovation make it easy to solve guest complaints. Their software enables you to quickly discover how customers are feeling and fix any issues fast. By rapidly responding to and providing solutions for negative reviews, you’ll gain more satisfied customers who leave larger checks and 5-star reviews.

Pearl Food Hall increased their monthly sales by $50K with Bbot’s smart order and pay technology. Check out their customer success story to discover how they did it, or fill out the form below to see how your business can do the same.

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