New generations of consumers barely know about a past where the reputation of restaurants depended on what people they knew had to say about them. Nowadays clients can easily do research on restaurants and make decisions based on their online reputation. The trust new customers place on the online ranking of a business is measured by the amount of visits paid to local search directories. Interested users access these websites in order to look for interesting places where to enjoy a meal.
Keeping a good reputation online is the best way to bring new diners to your restaurant, 87% of consumers seriously consider the opinions they read online about restaurants before actually trying them out; we must also add that 72% in that group place their confidence on what people they know (or users online) think about businesses they feel curious about.
Businesses that haven’t yet been reviewed or talked about online are basically non-existent to the eyes and minds of potential clients. Restaurants are incredibly sought-after over the Internet. Consumers are active (and some even get very excited) about discovering new options through reviews and comments that may lead them to that new place they keep hearing about but never got to try.
What’s the best way your restaurant can build a good reputation online?
Set goals and strategies
The first step to take is to define goals your business can achieve, that is, to think about what level of ranking, what type of comments and what perception you’d like to receive from customers, critics and even what degree of respect you’d hope to get from your competitors. Framing the aspirations of your restaurant within these parameters will make it easier for you to generate strategies to will actually get you there. Follow up by creating accounts and brand profiles on social networks and specialized platforms, blogs, websites, paid online advertising and any other media channels available to help you focus on these projects.
Optimize your presence
If you want your business to step it up and stand comfortably next to the most trusted and well-known brands out there, it’s time to rely and build profiles with popular websites such as Twitter and Facebook; also, get familiar with specialized platforms, namely: Google My Business and TripAdvisor. Those online services take great care of their user base but if you’d like to receive further information on how to take advantage of all those options, we are here to offer professional help.
Don’t neglect your clients online
Being present online is pointless if you forget to pay attention to your customers and miss on what they have to say. You need to be there for your clients and build rapport with them, answer their questions, reply to comments and suggestions, acknowledge their praise and apologize in behalf of your establishment if negative criticism is given after mistakes were made.
Seek customer satisfaction
Do you care to hear about a fact that may end up being beneficial to your business? How about this: Satisfied customers never leave bad reviews online. The best way to get clients to endorse your business and speak highly of you is to offer great service to them in the first place; you have to make sure patrons feel comfortable and easily relate to your brand by meeting their expectations and even, surpassing the impressions they had in mind after they found out about you online.
Seasoned restaurant owners know that stepping ahead of their game by anticipating the potential needs of their clients is part of a good business strategy. They offer additional services and perks, for example, a playground where kids can play while grownups dine and discuss adult subjects, discounts on certain menu items, special prices for customers who’d like to book a dining room to celebrate anniversaries or birthday parties; the possibilities are endless.
4 specific ways to build prestige and a great online reputation
Don’t get too fancy
Most people are very busy and have little time to stop what they are doing to leave reviews on businesses they have visited recently. If you want customers to take the time to do that: make it easy for them! Share links to your restaurant on social media sites and make sure they’ll be able to remember your brand by name, it’s tough to say something nice about a person or place whose identity you can barely recall.
Make it quick
There is a small window of opportunity between the point when clients finish meals in your restaurant and the moment they move on to whatever is next. That’s when you should ask them to leave comments about their experience! Most people are predisposed to leave comments about businesses they have just visited. Their impressions about a place they have enjoyed are fresh in their minds so, they’ll be willing to share what they loved about about your service if they indeed had a great time.
Don’t bribe clients into leaving positive feedback
It is easy to notice when clients have had a great time at your restaurant, that’s when you should suggest they spread the good word about their experience online. If you think we are referring to buying their opinion by offering them bonus items you definitely got the wrong idea. Satisfied customers who sincerely enjoyed your establishment are the best conduit to building a positive reputation for your business and the products and services your brand offers.
Stay away from false opinions
The truth always comes out, sooner or later; no specialized review site will ever be able to leave fake comments, scrutiny or words or praise as if they originated from actual, living customers. Are you serious about raising the profile of your restaurant to new heights? Provide clients who visit your restaurant with the best service you can possibly offer them; those great reviews and improved reputation you aspire to will naturally follow.
What are the best social networks for your restaurant to emerge on?
Let’s get back to basics, let’s talk about Facebook, the social network where most people keep active profiles and spend the majority of their time on. The availability of this popular site represents a serious advantage for businesses trying to rise to prominence.
It’s important for your business to count with the best content development specialists available in the market.
There are two particular social media sites that could definitely help you showcase the benefits of your restaurant in simple and attractive ways:
Instagram is a compact and neat site that allows users to quickly publish photos of meals along with comments right when they are having them. Take advantage of the opportunity it provides to further the exposure of the profile of your business.
A truly powerful and popular platform maintained by users and brands who provide content such as music videos, tutorials covering literally any imaginable topic and reviews of new and exciting products. This is definitely the right place to publish videos that focus on the benefits your clients haven’t yet been able to discover. Create your own channel, take the time create fun and interesting content and make sure you provide links for users to get to know you and hopefully become long-term, loyal customers.
Are there specialized web pages you can use to promote your restaurant?
There are many ways in which restaurants and related enterprises can improve their reputation and garner large quantities of devoted followers and customers. Make it a goal to get familiar and take advantage of specialized networks such as Google My Business and TripAdvisor. These platforms facilitate opportunities for clients willing to share their opinion (both positive and negative) about restaurants they have visited.
Once you are able to confidently use the features available through such networks by including widgets that allow potential customers to find you through Google Maps or by being present in sections of TripAdvisor where clients can easily leave comments about products and services they have enjoyed; local customers and even visitors from abroad will find out about you and most probably feel inclined to give you their business.