The day you open your restaurant, you become vulnerable to both, positive and negative reviews. Managing reviews, ratings, comments, and feedback are the very basics of reputation management for restaurants. However, managing them isn’t everything when it comes to maintaining the online reputation. There are numerous other factors can make or break your restaurant’s reputation. Some of these factors include your restaurant-related content, the design of your website, presence across different forms of media, customer service, the interaction with customers, etc. The primary focus of reputation management for restaurants is creating brand awareness and increasing positivity on the Internet. At the same time, reputation management helps to increase the footfall in the restaurants and get repeated customers.
Building a superior online reputation is a time-consuming process. In this article, we have listed some of the best reputation management tactics that you should follow.
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Use Different Media
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Today, being present on only one channel isn’t enough for building a positive online reputation of your restaurant. Higher online visibility acts as a credible source for an excellent reputation of your restaurants. So, don’t focus on only one platform. Start off by making your restaurant profile on free listing directories such as Google My Business. Then, create restaurant profiles on popular social media channels such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, Google+, etc. You can target the maximum number of followers on these platforms. Don’t forget registering your restaurant on your local restaurant directory where most people visit to get information about restaurants and the kind of food they serve.
Make sure you provide all the necessary information that your target audience might look for such as your contact details, hours of operation, cuisine you serve, etc. on your website, directory listings, and social media profiles. Review content on every medium such as your website, restaurant directories such as Zomato, and social media profiles to check if there isn’t any incomplete information left.
Create Quality Online Content
Content plays a vital role in building the credibility and reputation of your restaurant. By consistently creating high-quality content, you can shape how your restaurant is seen online. When you search for a query on any search engine, you will notice that the first few results that pop-up are the ones with in-depth and quality content on their website This is the biggest proof that content is important in reputation management for restaurants.
You should focus more on appealing images because this industry is all about attracting people with alluring pictures. Appetizing images earn points for restaurants, and bad images can tarnish the restaurant’s online reputation. Therefore, upload delicious pictures of the food that you serve in your restaurant. And why only food; upload quality images of the beautiful restaurant decór. You can also include the smiling faces of your chefs and staff on your website to let your customers know who is responsible for the tasty food they devour.
Also, review what images people upload, especially in restaurant directories such as Yelp and Zomato. For example, Zomato has a new feature where they review the pictures uploaded by reviewers and delete the unclear, blur, or badly shot images. The only motive to do this is to show just quality images to people looking for restaurants.
Apart from images, focus on the content that you’ll have on your website, social media platforms, and directories. See to it that you include informative and interesting content that isn’t plagiarised so that people will be interested to read. All these will increase the credibility of your restaurant which further helps in maintaining good online reputation.
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If people are talking about your restaurant, there are chances that it is because they care about you. So, don’t let your followers and customers feel left out. Show them that you are listening by responding to what they have to say. Don’t take days to respond and be available for your customers. To instantly connect with your target audience, you may consider including a live chat feature on your website. Live chat is a pop-up window present on a website that let’s online visitors to connect with the brand in just a matter of a few seconds. You could also do so with the help of a restaurant directory platform. The great part about restaurant directories is that they already have a chat and call assistance of their own, so you don’t have to do much when you register your restaurant on them.
Another good way to prevent your customers from waiting for long hours to talk to you is by mentioning the restaurant’s functional hours on your website, social media channels, and Google listings. With the help of these timings, your audiences will know exactly when they should reach out to you in order to get a response. But again, make sure you respond to them quickly when they contact you during these hours so that you don’t lose out on a potential customer.
Make the Most of the Responses
Take out time to see what your reviewers have to say about the food you serve, your restaurant, and the service you provide. Analyze what kind of reviews you get on a timely basis. Not all reviews you get are going to be positive. Bad reviews or reviews that make you unhappy can tell you what your customers think of your restaurant’s service or food. Take them as suggestions in order to make your food, ambiance, service and other things in your restaurant better. Such reviews provide input for your restaurants’ food, services, ambiance, or other improvements. This is one of the best ways to manage your online reputation by taking into consideration what your followers and audiences have to say.
Ask your customers to review your restaurant before they step out. Apart from the personal details, you can ask your customers to mention the best thing they liked about the restaurant and about the food they had. You can also ask them to suggest things that they would have changed about their experience or something that can make your food and services better. And for the online reviews, you can manually go through every comment and review across all the platforms your restaurant is listed on or use tools for the same. Tools like Google Alerts and Review Trackers are simple, yet effective ways to start monitoring Google search results for new content about your restaurant’s name.
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How you respond to your customers affects your restaurant’s reputation significantly. Responding professionally applies for both, negative as well as positive reviews and queries. Maintain the right tone and use correct language to respond to people’s comments, reviews and questions to make sure you don’t end up being misunderstood. Don’t be too happy and frank about getting good reviews and praises. Same way, don’t be upset if you receive bad feedbacks. It is okay for your restaurant to get reviews that you don’t like. Your food cannot practically please each palette. Also, it isn’t necessary for all visitors to fall in love with your restaurant service and decór no matter how great it is. There will always be some people who might end up disliking something or the other and not reviewing positively. Being upset about negative or bad responses and replying rudely can further annoy these reviewers and it also affects online reputation. Hence, it is necessary for you to keep your emotions in the backseat when responding to your followers and customers. Also, when you respond to negative reviews positively and professionally, you get an opportunity to showcase your customer service.
Avoid Spamming the Media
Reputation management for restaurants doesn’t mean posting too many content pieces to increase the traffic to your website or increase your engagement on social media profiles. Restaurants owners often feel that more is always better. The more you update your social media profile with food-related posts, the better engagement your social media profiles will have. Instead, by doing this, they just attract downfalls for themselves. When you crowd your followers’ social media feed with a lot of posts, the chances of losing out on them are higher. Most online audiences prefer seeing minimal but quality restaurant content on their social media posts. Too much of food and restaurant on their Facebook or Instagram feed will just compel them to unfollow you. This way, you might end up attracting only a few followers but losing out on more of them on a daily basis. Also, Google and Bing are smart search engines, and they don’t fall for this crowding-the-Internet-for-SEO technique anymore. Hence, it is always better to focus on the quality of the posts and content rather than posting more frequently.
Don’t Pay for Reviews
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All restaurants and practically every business wants positive reviews and ratings and want people talking good about them all over the Internet. It may take months or even years to build a great reputation. But several restaurants often take a shortcut and pay reviewers to earn positive and tailor competent reputation. Paying influencers and asking them to write good things about your restaurant on the Internet has a lot of risks. Doing this is illegal. If you get caught, your restaurant might have to face serious consequences or the most grave out-turn can be forceful shutting of your restaurant. There isn’t any harm in asking your happy customers to review you on Google or restaurant directories. But, paid reviews and ratings aren’t something that you should do. Paid reviews or comments on any platform may look fake and disingenuous. These paid reviews also include inviting several food bloggers for free and asking them to write nice things about you. You can always ask bloggers, reviewers, and influencers to visit your restaurant and share their views. But, compelling them to write positive things is not recommended. Let them be honest with you and be ready to welcome their honest feedback.
Another tip to keep in mind is hiring an experienced and a credible reputation management agency if you are planning to outsource your reputation management. There are tonnes of firms dealing in reputation management for restaurants that aren’t following the best practices, and their efforts could hurt your restaurant’s reputation in the long run. Inexperienced agencies may not have adequate information about reputation management or may not be aware of these tactics and tools used for handling your online reputation. Good and experienced firms handling reputation management for restaurants have tools such as Go Fish Digital Complaint Search and KnowEm, and knowledge to efficiently manage your online reputation. Therefore, you must be thoughtful while hiring a reputation management firm.Original Source