Reviews are the new currency 💸

We all know that customer satisfaction is important, but the journey doesn't end when the customer walks out the door. Reviews and ratings are the new currency when it comes to building and maintaining a restaurant. Almost all (96%) of 18-34 year old consumers read online reviews which factor into their dining decisions according to a 2018 BrightLocal consumer study.

Importance of Restaurant Reviews

Online reviews can make a restaurant get or lose customers. People report that they will only go to a restaurant that has a minimum of 3.3 star rating.

Certain factors like customer service, cleanliness, and quality affect different groups of consumers more than others. 77% of women say that they will not go to a restaurant if they see negative reviews regarding the cleanliness. If a restaurant isn't hitting perfect marks in these three categories, they may be in trouble.

And one negative review can have a larger impact than you can think. In fact, 22% of customers will not visit a restaurant after reading just one negative review! Four or more negative reviews can cost a restaurant 70% of its potential customers.

Having a great review reputation can help drive profits too. Yelp has shown there is an increase of 5%-9% in revenue for every increase in star rating.

Fake Reviews

Unfortunately, there are a lot of fake reviews that make it difficult to keep a restaurant's review reputation genuine. Fake reviews exist on many review platforms like Google, Yelp, and Foursquare which prospective consumers can see and thus cause them to change their decision of going to a restaurant.

Love Yelp? Well, nearly 20% of its reviews were found to be fake from a 2015 Harvard Business School report. This problem is so common that nearly 74% of consumers have mentioned they have seen at least 1 fake review.

But where do fake reviews come from and why do they exist?

Some fake reviews are very positive and these may originate from certain businesses purchasing fake reviews to improve their overall rating.

Other reviews are negative which may come from people responding to a political incident. And sometimes, real people that are genuinely angry at a bad experience may create multiple accounts and sabotage a business by putting in multiple bad reviews for the public to see.

How to Get Better Restaurant Reviews & Win More Customers

One of the best ways to make sure customers do not turn from low and negative reviews is to respond to reviews promptly. This gives a restaurant a chance to resolve the issue with consumers that may have had a bad experience but also shows to other prospective consumers that they genuinely care about their feedback.

In terms of fake reviews, several solutions including flagging the review and getting support from the review platform are described in this article. But this can be a lengthy process.

Want to automate everything from the start? Check out Yumaroo which verifies customer's location and meals whenever they leave a review to make sure that they are giving honest reviews about a restaurant and its amazing food.

Reviews are getting more prevalent and taking ownership and showing genuine attention is necessary to show a restaurant is hard working and cares about their public image.