“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” ~Benjamin Franklin
Love them or hate them, online reviews of your customers’ operations will affect their business. The restaurant industry is at the forefront of the online business review revolution, and it can make or break just about any operator. Diners are choosing their restaurants based on peer-to-peer reviews.
Your customers’ customers are searching online as to where they want to dine — and they need your help to learn how to manage their online restaurant business reviews.
Restauranteurs now must live with the fact that individual diners’ opinions are magnified. One unhappy diner can multiply into dozens of lost new diners over the course of just a few months.
- More than 2.6 billion local searches are performed each day, and the number is growing.
- 80% of people search online before making a purchase.
- 98% of searchers choose a business on page one of the search results.
- Over 60% of searchers choose one of the first three businesses listed.
- 59% of all organic Google search traffic came from mobile devices.
As to how many online business review websites like Google, TripAdvisor, Yelp, and other sites! matter, consider the following data points:
- 83% of consumers say online customer reviews influence their purchase decisions.
- 91% of consumers 18-34 years-old trust businesses with positive reviews.
- A word-of-mouth recommendation is a primary factor behind 40% to 60% of all purchasing decisions.
- Harvard University research on Yelp shows that a 1-star difference in reviews on Yelp may result in 5% to 9% in business gained or lost.
- A half-star improvement in average star rating makes it 49% more likely that a restaurant will fill all seats for the evening.
Online reviews are basically word-of-mouth written into the digital cloud. And because they are written, the comments have far more staying power. A series of poor reviews on sites like Google, Trip Advisor, and Yelp is the equivalent of a dining area that is always empty. People look through the window, see nobody is eating there, and assume it must not be that good. It’s all about perception!
The best way to control online reviews is to have great food and service. Nothing has really changed here: Make people happy and they’ll give you positive reviews. But just about every restaurant gets occasional bad reviews. Some people are just impossible to please. Staff can make mistakes.
If you want to do just one restaurant marketing activity that will take approximately 10 minutes of your time and yield the most customers for 0 cost, optimizing for local search is the one thing you should do. Immediately.
Those who understand this digital disruption will be better positioned to embrace the innovation that consumers are demanding. Those who resist might be left behind.
DSRs, help your operators “be the place that’s always full” by bringing these insights to their attention, and helping them learn to manage this part of their business.
Below are links to help your customers manage online reviews:
DSRs, Be a Resource… and Sell Something!
(Source: statista.com, 2022)
(Source: Inc..com, 2021)
(Source: Google, 2022)
(Source: Harvard University, 2021)
(Source: Yelp, 2021)