Why restaurant reputation management is crucial to success

6 min read
Apr 19, 2022 12:02:36 PM

If you are a restaurant manager or owner, you must provide excellent food and exceptional service for your customers. It is important to maintain a positive atmosphere in your establishment. Management of a restaurant's online reputation is an important aspect.


How important is your restaurant's online image?


Restaurants have faced unprecedented challenges in these times. It seems that we cannot leave our homes without first researching the destination. Restaurants can survive or fail based on the reputation they have earned and the reviews they get.


Restaurant reputation management is, therefore, more important than ever. Effective restaurant reputation management requires:


  • Optimize your restaurant's GBP Listing
  • Online reviews management
  • How to maintain a website
  • Social media posting
  • Watching the competition


This article will provide you with all the knowledge and tools you need to improve your restaurant's online reputation.


Management of restaurant reputation is crucial


More than 90% of diners indicated that they had researched a restaurant before going to it. Online reviews are a major factor in customers choosing where to eat. It is crucial to managing your restaurant's reputation online. Although you know that reputation management should be a top priority for your business, perhaps you don't know what to do. There are several steps you can take that will improve the online reputation of your restaurant.


5 ways to manage the reputation of your restaurant


1. Optimize your Google Business Profile Listing


Google listings are often the first result when people search for restaurants using their smartphones. Your Google Business Profile (GBP) listing is the first thing that people will find when searching “restaurant near me”. Once you have verified that your restaurant has been listed on GBP then the next step is to claim it as your own. The following information should be included in your GBP listing:


  • Name of the business
  • Address for business
  • Hours of operation
  • Attractive photos
  • Positives


Trip Advisor is another popular platform where you can verify your listing. Trip Advisor and Google reviews are a great way to show that others like your restaurant. A Trip Advisor report in 2018 showed that 94% of diners chose restaurants based on reviews online. Surprisingly, many diners said that an online review was as trustworthy as a friend's recommendation.


2. Online reviews


Online reviews can be monitored and you can respond accordingly


Online reviews are the bread and butter of your restaurant. Someone must be responsible for monitoring and responding to these reviews. You can either read the reviews and reply to them yourself, or you can delegate this task to a trusted business partner or employee. It would be nice to reply to all reviews, but it is important to address negative ones. These are some examples of responses to negative restaurant reviews:


“Tom, I am sorry that you had a bad experience. Send us a message to learn more and how we can resolve it.”


If you have already taken steps to correct the situation, here are some suggestions:


“Karen, once again, I am very sorry for what happened. Janet, our shift manager, also apologized that night. We didn't charge you any extra for the meal. We hope that you will return and allow us to offer you another great dining experience.”


In the event that a review is totally false:


“Tom, I spoke with my employees and they confirmed that this incident did not occur. Please contact us to discuss the reasons for this false claim.”


Next, flag the review for inappropriateness and ask your employees to do the same.

report a review to Google

Your responses are meant to be read by others, so even negative reviews can be considered an opportunity. People want to see that you care about your customers and are willing to work with them to solve any problems. They want to hear your side.


Reading all your reviews can also be a benefit. The wording of your customers could give you ideas for your search engines optimization (SEO), strategy both on your GBP listing as well as on your website.


You must respond to reviews in a thoughtful and professional manner. You should delegate this task to someone who is willing to take the time to do it correctly.


What to do if your rating is low


Negative star ratings can sometimes ruin your average, especially if you have a new restaurant or online listing. You can make a quick appeal on social media to your customers to leave five-star reviews. Good ratings are a quick way to get people to help you.


Learn from your mistakes and learn from them


Review monitoring doesn't just involve thanking people for positive reviews. It also involves repairing damage caused by bad reviews. It's not about reducing costs but rather improving your operations. Sometimes it hurts, but negative feedback can help you identify areas that could be improved. Outstanding food and exceptional service are two of the most important aspects of restaurant reputation management.


Showcase positive reviews and ask for them to be included


Asking satisfied customers for reviews is another way to optimize the review section on platforms like Yelp, Facebook, and Google. You'll get positive reviews over time if your establishment is well-managed. Consider displaying customer testimonials on your site as you get rave reviews. You can also share positive social media posts. Click Share, or take a screenshot to repost the shoutout elsewhere.


3. Maintain a compelling website


Your website's design, updates, and SEO will improve your credibility with search engines and visitors. Search engine optimization (or SEO) will increase your ranking on search engine results pages. This will result in more visitors to your website. Spreading the word about your restaurant.


These are some specific suggestions to improve your local SEO.


  • Use local keywords.
  • Optimize your website for mobile searches
  • Start a blog to keep your content fresh.
  • You can also include an online booking tool to allow customers to make online reservations.
  • You can add an email capture function to your website so that you have many recipients for future emails marketing campaigns.


Customers might not find all they need in Google results. However, your website can be a base from which customers can search for your pricing and menu after finding it in a listing on the internet or through social media.


4. Regularly post on social media


You can use any social media platform to market your restaurant. However, it's possible to narrow down the options to just a few that offer the best value. Youtube and Facebook are great options if you enjoy making videos. However, Instagram is a better choice if you prefer to take beautiful still photos. You can experiment with various platforms to find the ones that you love best. But, it's also important to discover which ones are most popular among your customers.


Social media marketing can be a great way to promote your restaurant to people who aren't necessarily looking for it. People use their newsfeeds as inspiration, so the goal is to bring your restaurant to as many people as possible. It is important to let people know about your restaurant so they can manage it.


Although posting on social media sites is free, you might also consider paying for advertising. Placing ads on the right platforms will likely result in new customers. Knowing where your target market is online will help you to spend your advertising dollars and time wisely.


Engaging on social media can often translate into more restaurant visits. Therefore, it is important to have a strong social media presence.


5. Keep an eye out for the competition


Be sure to check out your competitors' social media accounts, so you can see what they are doing lately. New marketing strategies are being developed constantly to help restaurants stay afloat in these difficult times.


It doesn't matter how hard you try to manage your restaurant's reputation, it is always possible for someone else to beat you. You can also read the reviews of your competitors to get an idea of their strengths and weaknesses. A negative review from a competitor will show you what to avoid.


Take control of your restaurant's reputation


Once you have a basic understanding of how to manage the reputation of a restaurant, you can begin to implement the tips above for maintaining a positive online reputation for your business. Make sure to update your website regularly, respond to reviews, and optimize your GBP listing. Don't forget to keep an eye on your competition so you can stay up-to-date with local restaurant trends.

restaurant reputation management


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