The summer months are a popular time for vacation and it’s no surprise that one of the most popular activities travelers look forward to when venturing to new cities is dining out. This means a lot of their vacation preparation is focused on finding the best place to eat. A recent study conducted by Hotels.com revealed the average traveler spends more time looking for local restaurants than any other search– 71% of online searches related to restaurants while on vacation.
With all of those travelers searching for the best restaurants it’s critical that a business’ online presence is optimized and a restaurant operator is in control of their online reputation. Take control of what’s being said about your restaurant with these simple steps:
Claim and optimize listings. The first step to managing your online reputation is to claim your restaurant’s listing on the review sites that receive the most web traffic. We recommend focusing on the most viewed sites: Yelp, TripAdvisor, Zomato, and Google+. Claiming these pages may seem like a daunting task at times, but it’s certainly worth it to ensure potential customers are seeing the correct information. Update critical details such as hours of operation and contact information to avoid a lost customer.
Stay engaged. Checking for new reviews should be a weekly task for restaurant operators. It’s important to be present and respond to reviews within a timely manner. It’s also important to be active on the page to show customers that you care about what they have to say. We suggest responding to all negative reviews (1 and 2 star ratings) and occasional glowing reviews (5 star ratings). This will not only ensure that you’re responding to actionable content, but also show your appreciation to your loyal customers.
Make it personal. Every restaurant has a unique voice and it’s important to make sure that is present in the responses you craft to customers. Avoid using the same response for every review and be sure to reiterate details in the review to show you’re speaking to that specific customer. Responding privately, when you can, has a personal touch and shows you genuinely care about the customer’s experience.
Listen and take action. The customer is always right! Listen to your customers’ feedback, and avoid making excuses. We recommend that restaurant operators utilize online reviews as useful insight on how your clientele feels about the business and work to identify any reoccurring trends that could be areas for improvement.
Ensuring that your online presence is solid will bring in new business from tourists and locals alike. Take these easy steps to make the most of summer and every season.