There are several ways to counter negative reviews about your restaurant. Improving your service, encouraging repeat customers to review your restaurant online, and starting a blog can improve the restaurant’s online presence. Here are 5 steps to take to keep your restaurant’s online presence reputable.
1. Read Restaurant Review Sites and Address Negative Concerns
Many patrons to your restaurant will comment on the food and service somewhere online. This could be on Facebook, Twitter, or restaurant review sites. Going over the reviews posted on sites like Zagat, UrbanSpoon, and Yelp will give you an idea of what your customers are saying.
Respond to reviews that are negative by replying to the post and offering recommendations for food they didn’t like or promise to improve the service if that was an issue. If possible, try to contact the reviewer by email requesting to give your restaurant a second chance. For more help with combatting negative reviews, companies like Reputation.com specialize in improving a business’s online image.
2. Start a Restaurant Blog and Update It Regularly
Another way to improve your restaurant’s online presence is by starting a blog. Creating a weekly post about different cuisines and about the local area is a good way to attract readers and new patrons. Include plenty of pictures and witty stories to keep things interesting.
3. Get Fans on Facebook and Followers on Twitter
Starting a Facebook Page for your restaurant is another way to take control of how your restaurant is seen on the Internet. Keep the page simple and informative. Include the basic details of your restaurant like your hours, address, and type of cuisine you serve. Since Facebook is such a visual platform, posting pictures of your food is sure to get your fans’ mouths watering (and lead them into your restaurant).
A Twitter page is another way to build your restaurant’s online presence. Send Tweets about daily specials or new menu items. Some restaurants even accept reservations by customers via Twitter. In a relatively short time, you could have lots of fans and followers on both of these popular social media sites.
4. Send Out Press Releases
Sending a press release to local newspapers is another way to gain positive attention. If your restaurant’s reputation isn’t too strong, present your restaurant in a positive light by pointing out positive reviews that are published elsewhere and make an announcement about improvements, such as a revamped menu.
5. Encourage Good Reviews
After deflecting online criticism and attracting customers back to your restaurant, give them a reason to write a good review. Good food and great service, along with the right ambience and decor, will guarantee positive reviews. Encourage patrons to review the restaurant when it comes time to pay for the meal, or remind them to do so as they leave the restaurant. Recommend a review website or app as well.
Negative reviews can damage a restaurant’s reputation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. The five steps mentioned above will improve your restaurant’s online image.