Author | Chatmeter TeamDate Posted | August 23, 2022

5 steps to restaurant loyalty & sales with reputation management

5 steps to restaurant loyalty & sales with reputation management

Review and reputation management for restaurants has gotten increasingly complex in recent years. Whether people have thoughts about the fantastic food, delayed service, wonderful atmosphere, or inaccurate hour information, your restaurant’s reputation is on the line every time you interact with a customer.

That’s why it’s vital for brands to stay on top of their reputation if they want to drive customer traffic and maintain a good image. With an optimized reputation management strategy, restaurant brands can build a solid foundation for success and stay ahead of their competition.

Here are five key areas that every restaurant marketing and operations team needs to focus on to drive results, build loyalty, and create amazing dining experiences.

1. Claim and update your listings

If you want to be found online, you need to be present where your consumers are searching for business. For the far majority (75%), that means Google page one. However, there are other major players brands must be on as well. The most significant are called tier 1 directories.

The tier 1 directories listed below are where your business needs to have a NAPWCHD presence – Chatmeter’s acronym for having an up-to-date business name, address, phone number, website, categories, hours, and description.

Tier 1 Directories:

  • Google
  • Apple Maps
  • Facebook
  • Bing
  • Yelp
  • Foursquare

Once you have NAPWCHD consistency across all your directories, fill your listings with additional details such as your menu, reservation links, photos, and other attributes.

Keeping your business listing fresh and up-to-date isn’t just helpful for consumers, it also improves your search rankings. Search engines like Google want to provide consumers with trustworthy information. Updating your listings with photos, information, and more tells these search engines that you’re a reputable business and will drive your business to the top of the search engine results page (SERP).

2. Attract consumers with menus & photos

There’s no better way to get consumers excited about your restaurant than with great photos and an enticing menu. With something as simple as an iPhone, your business can easily create high-quality photos that capture the ambiance and food to attract potential customers online.

Keep in mind that all of your pictures should have good lighting, a simple background, and be shot from different angles. Work towards building up a good collection of photos that can be updated seasonally and as the dining experience changes.

One of the most important aspects of reputation management for restaurants is menus. In fact, 86% of consumers regularly check out menus online before they dine out. Including a menu on your listings with descriptions and prices will help customers decide what they want to order from your business.

*If you’re a Chatmeter customer, you can easily manage menus directly from our dashboard. Please contact your customer success manager to learn more about how you can add and edit menu items, descriptions, photos, and more

Download Reputation Guide for Restaurants

3. Listen and respond to customer reviews

94% of diners choose restaurants based on their online reviews. For the restaurant industry in particular, reviews can either make or break a business’s customer acquisition efforts.

Consumers want to know what to expect from their restaurant experience. When deciding where and what to order, consumers look to the internet and reviews to guide their decisions.

Seeing reviews about delayed service or incorrect orders is more than enough to drive a potential customer away. On the other hand, 5-star reviews can be the driving force behind a sudden increase in customers or brand loyalty. An optimized review management strategy is well worth the investment for every multi-location business.

In the past few years, dining and food service trends within the restaurant industry have drastically shifted. Your business most likely has had to implement one or more new features such as ghost kitchens, curbside pickup, outdoor dining, third-party delivery integrations, etc. These new experiences are all great – but are they resonating well with your customers? Online reviews are where you’ll truly know if your business is providing the best customer experience.

Monitor reviews on the top review networks such as Yelp, Google My Business, and Zomato. These areas are where your business needs to carefully listen and respond to this critical customer feedback. Choosing to ignore these reviews or not give the right response will result in lost opportunities and revenue. Implement a regular schedule for your team to consistently read and respond to reviews on these sites.

Don’t forget to always invite the conversation offline as a best practice for negative reviews. Negative reviews may not be easy to take in as a business, but they do provide important insight. Let them know that you care about their experience by providing a phone number or email where they can contact you.

Inviting the conversation offline will give your business another chance to turn the situation around and make it right with the customer. If the customer is pleased with the outcome, they may update the negative review or even delete the review altogether.

If you’re a multi-location business, review response templates are a must for ensuring reviews are met with a timely response. You can build out templates for negative reviews, positive reviews, reviews with little text, and more.

Get a headstart with Chatmeter’s fully customizable review response templates. Once your business has aggregated a large number of positive reviews, you can leverage this feedback by sharing them on social media, newsletters, your website, and more to attract even more customers.

4. Optimize your CX with analytics

When you have a multi-location business with hundreds of stores across different regions, data and analytics are essential to reputation management. A text and sentiment analysis tool like Pulse can help your business receive a holistic view of your business’s customer experience and direction on how to improve your reputation.

Pulse’s text and sentiment analysis engine can filter through millions of reviews to pinpoint high-priority customer issues and dive deep into the local customer experience. This directly helps brands identify and solve the root cause of any problems affecting their brand reputation.

You can also compare your locations with Chatmeter’s store comparison reports to identify the top performers and decipher exactly where to implement operational changes.

5. Maintain an active presence on social media

Your presence on social media matters. According to Social Media Today, 30% of millennial diners actively avoid restaurants with a weak Instagram presence. Smart brands today are thinking digital and using social media as another avenue to drive customer traffic.

Your business should remain active on social media by posting content daily. Content around your brand’s dishes, employees, specials, and promotions are all great ways to engage fans and increase brand awareness.

In addition to creating great content, you also need to be regularly responding to consumers on social media. Consumers use social media to make informed decisions about a business, as well as for customer service issues. It’s critical that you maintain a positive reputation here by regularly monitoring all conversations and responding back to any comments and questions from consumers.

This will show consumers you’re a business worth visiting and will create a better customer experience.

An up-to-date and positive online reputation is a fundamental part of creating a customer-centric restaurant experience. By routinely following these steps, your business can increase your customer acquisition and retention efforts. Your online reputation speaks volumes about your business, so it’s important to continuously maintain this reputation management routine.

Chatmeter’s all-in-one reputation management and local SEO dashboard can give your restaurant brand everything needed to create a seamless experience from search to post-purchase. Schedule a demo today to see firsthand how our solutions and amazing team can help your business directly drive customer traffic and revenue today.

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