With many of our clients, we utilize a Restaurant Reputation Management tool to monitor what is being said by their customers on the review sites. We see the good bad and the ugly side of consumer comments about many restaurants across the country. It truly becomes obvious as to why some restaurants are very successful and their customers are promoters of their business. The information we see gives us great insight into a restaurant’s brand, their staff and the quality of their food. These are the basic elements of what a restaurant is. It’s all about food quality and the service and the impact it has on a brand.
Many restaurant owners tend to downplay this information as just “those customers always complain”. What I have found is that the successful owners look at this information and say “how can I improve on these issues”. Which camp are you in? The answer is in the reviews. Most owners take it very personally when a customer complains about their business. It’s like a punch in the gut. How you respond to these concerns is what separates the good from the great. I’ve seen some owners take a scorched earth approach and immediately fire everyone. I’ve seen some do nothing and just accept it. The true winners are the others who embrace the issue and fix the problem. It’s how you react that defines your level of success.
Often times, the servers can be your best advocate in dealing with the problems at hand. The training you give them can teach them how to identify, react and fix problems before they show up on Yelp or Facebook.
This early warning mechanism is good for you and good for them. It has an immediate impact on the level of their tip, and the review rating you get has an impact on the revenue of your restaurant. A study has shown that a single star improvement in your rating can impact revenues by as much as 9% of sales. What restaurant owner would not want that?
So my advice is simple. Listen to the voice of your customer. They will give you the clues for improvement. Identifying the problem is part of the solution. The tools are there to improve are you using them?
With over 30 years of experience in the food industry, CORE Restaurant Marketing’s mission is helping restaurants improve their revenues. To learn more about how CORE Restaurant Marketing can bring value to the restaurant industry visit our website or give contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org