Should Restaurants Ask for Reviews?February 26, 2018
We get it—asking guests in-house to go out of their way once they leave your restaurant to benefit your restaurant is awkward and feels like you’re imposing. Why would you want to bother guests who otherwise, seem to be having the meal of their lives? Although badgering people in-person may seem like your only way to put the thought of online reviews into your customers’ minds, your options don’t start and end there.
After all, we’re at the peak of the digital age; this age where we’re all strangely more connected than ever before, thanks to advancements in the technological world. With that in mind, this whole interconnectivity thing can be used for our advantage, not our takedown. If you haven’t asked whether people are organically leaving reviews for your restaurant, let the stats below do the talking.
Yes, it’s easy to get wrapped up with and consumed by what others are saying about you and your business in the online world. However, you could be utilizing this space to your utmost advantage by simply seeking out reviews where it’s allowed, and listening in to where it’s not.
We just said a lot there, so let’s break it down a little further. If you didn’t know there were certain online review platforms that don’t allow you to seek out reviews of any caliber from customers. Yelp is a notable platform that stands out when referencing such guidelines.
Near the end of 2017, Yelp updated their guidelines to now ban businesses from any and all walks of life from asking their customers for reviews on their platform in any way. This is a tune shift from what we’ve seen from Yelp in the past, as they were known to provide businesses with stickers asking for reviews on Yelp, amongst other requests.
However, as you likely know, there are other online review platforms outside of the Yelp-world. Although Yelp may seem like to end of all ends and vice versa, with these various other platforms, that’s no longer the case.
Keep in mind there are platforms such as TripAdvisor, Facebook and Google Business that don’t have these strict regulations around how you receive any level of review for your business, and these are the sites you should start seeking out reviews on. Better yet, let your customers choose which platform to review your business on by leaving the reviewing up to them.
We know, who remembers to review their experience unless it was exceptionally stellar or wildly underwhelming? It’s easy for us to assume we know our client-base. Yes, you should generally know your target market, but to go as far as knowing which sites they prefer to do their review reading and leaving?
That may be best left up to user discretion. Besides, getting any number of reviews on the web will help you in the long run, and could even boost your overall rankings on sites you may have been neglecting; all thanks to Yelp.
Asking for reviews may seem like it’s intrusive, but it’s times like this where being in the service industry has your back to save you from awkward encounters or silences. For restaurants and their numerous employees, interacting with customers is nothing new. So . . . ask away!
Well, what if not everyone you speak to ends up going out of their way to leave you a review? No harm, no foul. The goal is to up your intake of overall reviews and then, in turn, rank higher for local SEO in the long run.
By simply putting the idea into the minds of your customers, you’re creating a tiny mark on their daily or weekly mental to-do list, and that’s a great place to be. Yes, you’re hopeful for positive feedback and raving reviews of your restaurant, but any business owner can tell you positive isn’t always what’s received when the review floodgates are opened. Though this may seem like a negative, in the grand scheme; it’s a total plus.
Think about it this way: any exposure is good exposure. Even if they’re negative reviews, you’re now getting that valuable, honest feedback you seldom receive, and so badly need. You’re getting the opinions of those that matter the most: the customers.
While getting negative feedback probably isn’t what makes your world go round—or any easier—but it gives you an opportunity. You can now salvage your online reputation by taking into consideration the things they’ve listed off as negatives, and responding back to this criticism in a respectful way.
By simply responding to these reviews, you’re getting yourself ranked higher on Google searches by being active on various pages associated with your restaurant. You’re showing other potential patrons that you value your business and how your employees are conducting themselves within it, and putting any negative remarks to bed.
You can’t show off the love you have for your business if you’re not responding to reviews, but you can’t respond to reviews you’re not getting. Take the extra step for your business and leave a comment on your receipt reminding them to review your place, actively seek out ways to praise those who have gone outside their daily norm to review your business such as a certain percent off their next purchase or a free drink with their meal.
To get ahead, you have to stay on top of your digital footprint and that word-of-mouth floating through various internet pages. To stay ahead, you’ll want to fully utilize an online reputation management tool like ReviewPush so you never miss a beat in regards to your restaurant’s business.