The same way you decide if you want to check out a restaurant or not, the same way your customers will decide if they check out yours, online reviews are critical to your success.
According to BrightLocal’s 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey, 90 percent of customers will read a review online before they visit a business; 84 percent of people trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation—and 74 percent of consumers say that online reviews impact their trust in a business.
But that doesn’t mean you should leave your restaurant’s reputation in the hands of fate. Regardless of where the review was written, you have two choices: either reply to customer reviews or choose to not respond at all.
Working to ensure your business is receiving positive reviews is just the first step. It’s equally important to know how to respond to comments made about your brand online.
“Reviews are precious because they provide insight into how our restaurants are running that we might not notice on our own,” said Tyler Kaune, guest relations manager at hospitality management group LM Restaurants. “We might have a super rude hostess who is all puppies and rainbows to her managers, but is rude and disrespectful to guests. It’s important to know these things so we can address them.”
Leverage the good, bad and ugly of what’s being said about your restaurant online and bring in more business and learn how to respond to reviews in a courteous and professional manner.