How to get more restaurant reviews - it’s a dilemma every restaurant owner spends hours thinking about.
Restaurant reviews can make or break your business. What people say about your food on TripAdvisor, Google, and Yelp can turn you into the hottest thing in town or somewhere you wouldn’t be seen dead…
Unless you’re exceptionally lucky, getting more restaurant reviews is something you have to work very hard at. You have to make sure your food is consistently outstanding, that your staff are always on their game, and that your ambience, lighting, drinks, and music are all as enjoyable as possible.
The restaurant reviews game is tough business.
Thankfully, here at Maade, we’ve developed a tried and tested way to get more restaurant reviews.
This technique has been tested out with clients and driven significant success.
We’ve taken restaurants with less than 15 reviews and grown their customer feedback significantly and helped them reap all the benefits that more restaurant reviews bring!
How to Get More Restaurant Reviews
If you’re eager to increase your restaurant reviews but you aren’t sure how, keep with us because we break down the 2 step process you need to implement to drive up that feedback and get your restaurant rocking.
1. Serve Good Food
We know, we know… You’re a restaurateur and this is what you do. Good!
However, often restaurants spend their time stuck wondering why people aren’t leaving good reviews - or any reviews at all - when the answer is right in front of them.
Food should be the first focus and great food practically writes restaurant reviews itself.
If your food is knock-it-out-the-park-good then you won’t have too much trouble finding people to rave about you on the internet. If you do, then we have a couple more steps for you.
If you’re doubting your food’s ability to cause people to rush to their devices and leave your restaurant adulations, then it’s best to get in the kitchen quickly and start to whip up some new creations that’ll leave them starstruck. Otherwise, the process we give in this blog isn’t going to work for you.
We repeat, ladies and gents, if your food isn’t top notch then the following step will not work because people won’t feel passionate enough to leave a little digital chin wag about your food.
However, if your food’s spotless then head on to the next step to learn exactly how to get more restaurant reviews.
2. Ask People For Reviews
So, your food’s great, your restaurant is a joy to spend time in, and you’re still struggling to get restaurant reviews…
If that’s a familiar position for you then we’re sure you’re racking your brains trying to work out why people won’t leave a few positive thoughts for you.
More often than not, the answer is because you haven’t asked them to. It’s as simple as that.
Now, we know it’s pretty awkward to speak to diners at the end of their meal and ask them if they had a good time at your restaurant and if they did to leave you a review. So, we aren’t recommending you do that.
Instead, what we’re recommending is that you contact diners the day after their meal to ask them how it went, if they have any feedback, and, if they loved it, if they could leave you a review.
We’ve implemented this process in restaurants where reviews were low and staff didn’t ask guests for feedback and it worked a treat.
However, for it to work it has to be done properly.
Think back to your own experiences about being asked to leave a review. Unless you’re the ultra-generous type there’s a good chance you open emails where you’re asked to leave feedback and instantly send them to the trash.
On the whole, people hate leaving reviews and whenever a marketing email comes into their inbox asking them to ‘rate and review’ they can’t help but think about doing exactly the opposite.
So, here’s the challenge: how do you get people to review your restaurant when you ask them to?
The answer: you treat them like a human being.
To get people to respond to your emails and review your restaurant you need to treat them like a person. You need to be friendly, likeable, and welcoming and you must never, ever be pushy.
What we found that works is getting your restaurant manager to follow up with all of the bookings who visited you the night before by email the next day.
If you’re in Europe and you want to be GDPR compliant (which you do) then please make sure the people you email have consented to you contacting them.
Here’s the way to do it:
- Every afternoon dedicate a member of staff - ideally the manager - to send out a series of emails to guests who visited the day before
- Use the pre-written email template below
- Add in key bits about the guest’s visit to make it personal and to treat them like a human being
- Provide a link to your preferred review platform
- Wait for the feedback to roll in
To help you out, here’s an email template we’ve used before that’s worked a treat:
Subject Line: Your Visit to __restaurant name__
Dear _guest name_,
I wanted to thank you for visiting us last night. It was great to welcome you __again/for the first time__ and we look forward to seeing you here at __restaurant name__ again soon.
We very much hope you enjoyed your visit and the ___dish they ordered___. However, if you have any feedback for us please reply to this email and let me know so I can pass this on to our team.
If you did enjoy your visit we would be extremely grateful if you could take a second to leave a review on ____Google/TripAdvisor/Yelp/etc.___ here. This helps us attract more guests and allows us to grow our business and keep providing great food and service.
Now, we know what you might be thinking: that’s an awfully soppy email to send out to a guest, how on earth does that get more restaurant reviews?
The answer is that yes, it is a little bit wishy-washy but it works.
It treats people like human beings, adds in a personal touch when it mentions a dish they actually ate the night before, and helps to suggest to people that they review your restaurant.
A Positive Finding
As well as helping to get more restaurant reviews, we’ve found that this email template actually prevents negative reviews from occurring.
That’s because it opens up a direct channel of communication between the person who had a negative experience and the person who can stop that from happening again.
If someone’s had a negative experience at your restaurant and your manager reaches out to them personally and starts a dialogue that offers them an opportunity to pass on their experience to someone who will do something about it, rather than to an online reviews portal which won’t make much difference.
So, if you start to implement this process, you’ll find your positive reviews start to increase and that you offset any negative reviews you might have had, leaving your restaurant with a win-win!
Start to Increase Your Restaurant Reviews
The process we’ve explained above isn’t hard to implement. With just a few minutes of time each day you can start to dramatically increase your restaurant reviews and start to boost your business.
More reviews leads to better positioning on Google, a higher ranking on TripAdvisor, and increased business well into the future.
What’s more, if you get started now, you’ll find that your reviews increasing right away.
If you’ve been wondering how to get more restaurant reviews then we have the answer.
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