5 Tips for Getting More Restaurant Reviews Online.

When is the last time you went out to eat and blindly walked into a restaurant without searching for a review, photo or menu online?  You probably can't remember because, according to Open Table, 86% of consumers check restaurant menus before deciding to dine in.  On top of that, 60% of consumers reportedly read reviews from other diners. 

It's more important than ever to make sure you have a positive online presence not only with your website, but across all social platforms.  A recent study by Harvard Business School found that earning another star on Yelp could lead to a 9% increase in revenue for your restaurant!

Here are 5 tips for getting more restaurant reviews online to drive more people through your doors!

Encourage reviews
This may seem like a no-brainer but be sure to encourage your diners to leave a review whether it's a guest survey or a link to your Yelp page.  A great way to do this is through email campaigns and social media.  Simply ask your followers on social media to post a review and provide a link!  You can also reach out to your email list.  Everyone has an opinion about the food, environment, service - sometimes you just have to ask for it.

Be responsive
Got a bad review?  No problem!  Use this as an opportunity to connect to your customers.  By responding and resolving, you can turn a disgruntled guest into a loyal diner just by reaching out.  Not only will this change the optics of the bad review, it also shows potential guests that you are responsive and care about your customer base.

Be present
Make sure your restaurant is visible on as many social review sites as possible.  Everything from Yelp to Foursquare.  This includes your favorite social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.  Better yet, create a clever, personalized hashtag to use across all platforms.  This way, you can track your reviews, photos of plates and your guest's restaurant experience by searching for the tag!  Stay on top of your profiles and tags - "like" as many and comment often.  These may not be on formal review sites but even an Instagram post can serve as a review of your restaurant.

Got a great review?!  Scream it from the rooftops.  It's so important to leverage your positive reviews and turn them into more reviews for your restaurant.  Anytime you get a positive review, be sure to repost it on your social media accounts, print it in any promotions, and always include it on your website.  Make sure others can find it as well by providing a link.  This is a great way to show off your restaurant will while also encouraging your loyal guests to leave feedback!

Be the best
In order to get 5 star reviews, you have to offer 5 star service.  This should go without saying but just in case, offer the most purposeful hospitality from the moment your guests walk through the door, to the moment they get their keys from valet.  Whether you have a self-serve cafe or offer a luxury dining experience, be sure your staff is trained, your menus are inventive and your follow up is on point.  Your reviews will reflect your guest's experience and will play a major role in the growth of your restaurant.