Originally published on 10/5/19
Reputation management is something that every business owner should be focused on, but if that business is a restaurant, it becomes even more essential.
Every restaurant should prioritize reputation management
In most cities, there is no shortage of options when it comes to restaurants. Some cities are home to a wide variety of restaurants, giving residents a choice of many different flavors, settings and service options to choose from.
With so much competition, restaurants simply can’t afford to let their online reputation fall by the wayside, which means that reputation management should always be high on a restaurant’s priority list.
Reputation management isn’t a one-and-done kind of thing; it’s something that takes consistent effort day in and day out. There are no shortcuts when it comes to reputation management, and you certainly won’t be able to wish away a negative online reputation.
When you invest your time and resources into maintaining your business’s online reputation, you want to know that it will pay off! That’s why we’ve put together this list of a few of the most important reasons why reputation management is vital for restaurants of all shapes, sizes and dining styles.
5 reasons your restaurant needs a good reputation management strategy
#1. Restaurants see a higher volume of clients
Have you ever noticed how restaurants tend to have a far greater number of reviews than, say, an auto shop or a plumber? That’s because restaurants serve a lot more people than a plumber or an auto shop does.
Not only do restaurants serve more people on a typical day than businesses in most other industries, but people who dine at restaurants are also more likely to share their experience online in the form of an online review.
With so many more people frequenting your restaurant and talking about it online in the form of reviews, it makes staying on top of your online reputation that much more pressing.
#2. Reviews are an important part of the dining decision
It’s no secret that a lot of consumers rely on online reviews to guide them when they make decisions on which products to purchase or which company to hire.
While that’s true no matter what industry you’re in, it’s especially true for restaurants, whose customers read more reviews and weigh them more heavily when deciding where to eat.
According to a TripAdvisor survey, 94% of diners from the United States are influenced by online reviews when deciding where to eat, and according to another study, 78% of diners say that reading online reviews factors into whether or not they schedule a reservation at least half the time.
If your overall rating isn’t up to scratch, you could be losing more customers than you might think. It’s estimated that more than 33% of people will not eat at a restaurant if it doesn’t have at least a 4-star rating online.
But the good news is that just a 1-star increase in your Yelp rating alone could translate into a revenue increase of as much as 9%.
#3. There is no shortage of restaurants to choose from
When you compare restaurants to other local businesses, like barber shops, sign companies or financial advisors, you’ll quickly notice that their competition is usually a lot more fierce.
Let’s face it, in your typical city, there are probably a handful of financial advisors, a few barber shops and maybe one or two sign companies, but there’s a new restaurant on every block.
Plus, unlike most other local businesses, restaurants have to compete with fast-food joints, coffee shops, sandwich shops, food trucks and more — not just other comparable restaurants.
All of that competition makes focusing more on online reputation a no brainer for restaurants. People overwhelmingly trust online reviews, and if you have a solid online reputation behind your business, it gives people an incentive to try you out over your competition.
#4. Focusing on your reputation will help your website get noticed
If you are the owner of a Mexican restaurant that specializes in street tacos, and someone googles, “street tacos near me,” you want your restaurant to be the first thing that pops up in the SERP (search engine results pages).
Of course, people make decisions about where they want to eat based on many different things, but it can only help to be ranked near the top of the results. After all, if you’re not on that first page of Google, you may as well not exist on the internet at all.
SEO (search engine optimization) and reputation management are two sides of the same coin, and when you focus on one, it benefits the other.
Every time someone mentions your restaurant in a review or uses a relevant keyword to describe their experience, it helps to boost your visibility in organic search results.
Not only will managing your business’ online reputation help your website outrank your competitions’ websites, but it will also help to push down any negative reviews further in the results.
#5. Reputation management will help you catch and respond to negative reviews promptly
Negative reviews can have a big impact on any business, but in the restaurant industry, negative reviews can make or break success completely, particularly negative reviews about the cleanliness of a restaurant.
According to one survey, approximately 75% of consumers say that they will not patronize or visit a restaurant that has negative reviews about cleanliness.
Negative reviews can have an especially negative effect on restaurants as opposed to businesses in other industries, and if you let a negative review go unchecked, it will only make the problem worse.
We’ve said it time and time again in our blog, but the fact remains that, while you can’t control what your customers say in online reviews, you can control how you respond to it.
Responding to negative reviews is a great way to turn a negative situation into a positive one, but it’s important that you don’t wait too long to respond.
People expect a response promptly, and the longer you allow a negative review to go unchecked, the more damaging it can be to your business’ online reputation.
When you take an active role in managing your business’ online reputation, you’ll be able to catch and respond to negative reviews much quicker.
Get your business listed on Top Rated Local® today!
There are many aspects to an effective reputation management strategy, but one of the best things you can do to get started without having to spend a whole lot of your time or money is to claim your listing on Top Rated Local, thus, becoming a Top Rated Local restaurant in your area!
There are so many reasons to become a Top Rated Local restaurant — you’ll get real-time notifications when you receive reviews, monthly email updates on your overall reputation, the ability to reply to Top Rated Local reviews, a prioritized profile ranking on Google, a boost to your Rating Score™ and a Top Rated Local badge that you can display on your website to build trust and give customers a direct link to your reviews — just to name a few of the many benefits.
And the best part is that you get all of this for free! Become a Top Rated Local restaurant today!