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Your Reputation is Everything (So Let’s Make it Banging)

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In this day and age, online reviews are the modern-day word-of-mouth – they can make or break whether hangry punters choose your gaff or head elsewhere to get their scran on.

With so many tasty options out there, having a strong, positive online rep is vital for attracting new diners and keeping your loyal fans coming back for more. That’s why at SideDish, we’re hugely clued up on the critical importance of managing your restaurant’s online reputation.

In this epic guide, we’ll hook you up with a smorgasbord of fresh strategies designed to help you slay the online review game. Follow our lead, and your restaurant will be the envy of the neighbourhood – racking up all the glowing reviews, building mega trust with potential customers, and watching those bookings roll in like conveyor belt sushi.

  1. Monitoring & Responding (The Pulse-Check)
    Keeping tabs on customer reviews and promptly dishing out responses is a total game-changer. Here’s the 411:
  • Make it a habit to regularly scope out the big dawg review sites like Google, TripAdvisor, Yelp and all the socials to stay looped in on new reviews.
  • For the love reviews, hit ’em back with a personalised thanks for the love and stoke about providing an A* experience.
  • If it’s a not-so-favourable one, respond quickly with a professional but sincere apology, and an offer to make things right. Show you’re all about that customer satisfaction life.

Be proactive, show you care, and customers will see you’re switched on.

  1. Encouraging Reviews (Getting That Social Proof)
    Reviews are basically for convincing new diners to give you a whirl. So adopt these smart tactics to incentivise happy customers to sing your praises online:
  • Make the process stupidly easy with clear instructions and direct links to your review pages.
  • Your servers can politely encourage satisfied diners to share feedback during service.
  • Tempt ’em by offering a cheeky discount or freebie for any customer who leaves a review.

The more quality reviews under your belt, the better you’ll rank and the more enticing you’ll appear to the hungry masses.

  1. Handling Negativity (Dodge Those Bullets)
    Even the most boss restaurants get the odd negative reviews. But by staying professional and handling misfires properly, you can defuse any potential reputation damage:
  • Respond to critics calmly and with empathy. Acknowledge their gripes and offer a genuine apology.
  • Present a solid solution – whether it’s a refund, inviting them back for a makeup meal, or pledging to uphold higher standards going forward.
  • If needed, take things offline to avoid a messy public back-and-forth while showing your commitment to making it right.

Kill any negativity with kindness and you’ll demonstrate your ace customer service while preserving trust.

  1. Flaunt The Positive (Shout It From The Rooftops!)
    When the rave reviews start rolling in, amplify those good vibes across all your channels to give prospective diners major FOMO:
  • Dedicate a section on your website to showcasing standout customer testimonials as social proof.
  • Repost and share the love of positive reviews and user-generated content on socials.
  • Sprinkle in customer kudos to your marketing emails, ads and videos to reinforce your awesomeness.

Make that positive buzz work for you and more punters will be queueing up for a taste.

  1. Call In The Tech Gurus (Game-Changing Tools)
    To stay fully on top of this reputation management malarkey without going certifiably insane, deploy some savvy online tools:
  • Use swish platforms like ReviewTrackers to automatically monitor reviews across all sites so you never miss a beat.
  • Generate detailed reports to analyse sentiment, identify recurring issues, and gauge if your strategies are on point.
  • Implement real-time customer feedback surveys to nip any negativity in the bud before it becomes an online roasting.

Having the right tech arsenal lets you maximise your online presence and focus on serving up excellence.

The Final Bite
In today’s uber-competitive restaurant landscape, a stellar online rep is essential for attracting new punters and retaining a diehard following. By monitoring reviews, encouraging feedback, owning any negativity, shouting about the positive, and leveraging the proper tools – your pizzeria/tapas joint/hipster brunch spot will have the digital game on lock.

But don’t just take our word for it – let the restaurant marketing mavericks at Run be your bulletproof wingmen and women for epic online reputation management. We’ll craft you a rave-worthy strategy to elevate your digital presence and keep those tables consistently stacked.

So get in touch today and let’s get this reputation party started! Your diners (and their taste buds) will thank you.