We hear it constantly. The customer is always right. The customer comes first. This mantra has been drilled into our heads in the service industry since our first day of training. And it’s true! The customer is the number one priority of any restaurant or event venue.
Yet, why are so many restaurants forgetting this?
How much of the art of customer service is still the focus of that training and preparation? Now with the increase in use of gig services such as Postmates and DoorDash, it seems that the customer experience isn’t always the priority.
One way a restaurant can improve on its customer satisfaction is to focus on customer service. This is considered, in most industries, to be an entry level type of position, usually paid minimum or low wage — and yet it’s the most important job in the house. Implementing high standards of customer service — and treating the employees responsible for this area as valuable members of the staff and not just disposable hourly workers — can improve your satisfaction score and review rating in spades. Read more on this topic here.
Another way to improve a restaurant’s customer satisfaction score is to attract more positive reviews of the service and the establishment. Earning positive reviews takes some legwork and determination, though. A customer is 21% more likely to write a negative review based on a poor experience than they are to write a positive review about a great experience. Those are tough odds, but they’re far from impossible.
To increase positive reviews for your restaurant, try these simple tips:
Increase Restaurant Reviews Tip 1: Ask for them!
Simply asking for a review is often a great way to accomplish this goal. In many cases, a restaurant may design a “review request” that can be included with each check presenter. This can include a call to action as well as any relevant review platforms where the restaurant has a page.
In addition, each server on your staff should be trained on the best way to request a review in conversation. Sometimes, a personal request from the server sticks in the diner’s memory and prompts them to tap out a quick review on their phone.
Increase Restaurant Reviews Tip 2: Use Reviews as Content
Posting excerpts from other great reviews that have been received is a way to inspire someone else to write their own. In addition, using testimonials is a useful marketing tactic as this practice builds visibility and rewards customer loyalty.
Consider using a platform such as Canva to put a testimonial on a colored background to create a fun, eye-catching social media graphic. This is a simple step that can be done in advance to make content that can be used later on.
Increase Restaurant Reviews Tip 3: Get the Staff Involved
Everyone needs to be bought in to the concept of the power of positive reviews, not just management. A team effort will lead results in higher numbers when it comes to increasing reviews for a restaurant.
Consider what incentivizes your team. Maybe they would perform well with a review contest with prizes like no side work or a day off. Perhaps each positive review earns them points that can be used for simple incentives. Think creatively here, but always remember that the staff needs to also be motivated by the craft of giving great customer service and creating loyal patrons out of first time customers.
Challenge yourself and your staff to increase the number of reviews the restaurant receives next month. Make a note of the number of reviews on each platform at the start and keep track of that number as the weeks progress.
Customer service should always be the number one priority, so let’s make March the month where our positive reviews and customer satisfaction scores soar!