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10+ Tips to Improve Restaurant Reputation Management

Guide to Improving Restaurant Reputation Management

Table of Contents

What is Restaurant Reputation Management?

Restaurant reputation management is the process of managing how the public perceives your restaurant, whether it be online or offline. 

Many think that it’s just managing online complaints and reviews, but it goes a little deeper than that.

Yes, when first looking at your restaurant, people are going to judge it based on reviews.

However, reputation management is a more holistic approach to how your restaurant is perceived, so you have to take into account things like social media branding, website design, the customer journey flow and so much more.

How Does Reputation Management Impact a Restaurant?

Reputation management is important for any restaurant, and that goes for any business for that matter.

A good reputation can benefit restaurants in many ways, such as increasing customer loyalty, reducing staff turnover, and getting more opportunities for local events like festival catering.

Reputation management in the restaurant industry also requires brand identity, which is crucial when facing tough competition.

Online reviews and presence are important, but so are other factors like food quality, service excellence, and brand image, as well as social values.

Gen Zs, in particular, tend to favor brands and businesses that have an ethical brand image.

Studies indicate that they are willing to pay up to 10% more for businesses that align with their social values.

Hence, it is smart to incorporate corporate social responsibility (CSR) in your reputation management plan.

Ways to Improve Your Restaurant Reputation Management

Focus on Your Food & Drinks (Core Products)

Improving your food and service should be the most important thing in your to-do list.

The quality of your food and drinks is the foundation of your restaurant’s success – no doubt about it.

To manage your reputation effectively, you need to ensure that your food and drinks are always delicious, affordable, and hygienic – at least 95% of the time.

These are the key factors that influence customer satisfaction and loyalty.

If you excel at them, you will avoid negative feedback and attract more customers through word-of-mouth, which is the most powerful and cost-effective form of marketing.

Word-of-mouth relies on the trust and credibility of your customers’ friends and family.

Moreover, you will have an edge over your competitors in online reviews, as your customers will naturally praise your food and drinks.

Respond to Every Single Review

Replying to Every Review for Restaurant Reputation Management
Replying to every review helps in improving your overall reputation!

It may seem like a daunting task to reply to every single review or rating on platforms like Google, Yelp, etc. but it can also bring you many benefits.

You can use this opportunity to apologize for any bad experiences and show your appreciation for loyal customers.

Plus, did you know that responding to reviews can boost your ranking on platforms like Google and Yelp?

Google and other platforms reward businesses that are responsive and attentive to customer feedback – which can improve your visibility in local searches.

Many people use templates to save time, but that can also make your replies look generic and boring.

We suggest you spice up your replies with some personality and humor. You can also share some behind-the-scenes stories or insights to make your restaurant more relatable and authentic.

Of course, not all reviews and ratings are pleasant to read, but you have to keep your cool and be respectful.

Remember, your replies are public and can influence how potential customers perceive your business.

The goal is to express your gratitude for positive reviews and turn negative ones into positive outcomes.

If consumers feel that you genuinely care about their satisfaction, they are more likely to come back and spread the word about your restaurant.

Put Efforts into Third-Party Delivery Platforms

Third-party delivery platforms such as DoorDash or UberEats can be a great way to boost your restaurant’s reputation management.

By getting more reviews and orders, you can increase your visibility and attract more customers to your restaurant.

However, this strategy requires some consistency. According to research, customers need to see your brand at least 7 times before they remember it and look it up online.

Therefore, you need to make sure your restaurant stands out and stays in their minds.

One way to do that is to respond to as many reviews as you can. This shows that you care about your customers and value their feedback.

It can also help you convert new customers who are browsing through the platforms and looking for a good place to eat.

Optimize Your Google Business Profile

Optimizing Google Business Profile for Restaurant Reputation Management
Optimizing your Google Business Profile helps tremendously in your online reputation!

Remember what we said about Google Business Profile being one of the first things that people see when they search on Google?

Your Google Business Profile takes up a lot of real estate on the screen and it’s best to optimize it the best you can!

Since this article is mainly about restaurant reputation management and not so much SEO, we’re just going to talk about the things that can affect your reputation to customers.

But if you’re interested, you can take a look at our article that talks about restaurant SEO in more detail.

Now, here’s a rapid-fire list of things you can do to optimize your Google Business Profile for a better online reputation:

  • Have an enticing cover photo, this is the first thing they’ll see when looking at your business profile.
  • Make sure your menu is easily accessible. Post pictures of your menu or have a downloadable PDF version on your website. The key is to make it as convenient for your customers as possible.
  • Upload pictures of food and tag them. This gives customers an idea as to how the food looks. Encourage customers to post photos of the food too!
  • List as much information as possible. Do you have wheelchair accessibility? Opening hours? Or maybe a takeout service? Giving as much information helps the user experience and can increase conversion and improve your overall branding and reputation.

Optimize Your Website

Having a website is important in this day and age. Scammers and phishers are constantly trying out new ways to scam customers.

That’s why having a real business website makes you stand out from the crowd.

Think about it – if everything is the same, would you book an online order from a restaurant with a trustworthy website or a half-baked website that looks shady?

You want to include things like:

  • SSL Certification
  • Address and Phone Number
  • Company Email Address
  • Location Pages
  • Links to Your Social Media Profile

By doing these things, people will be more likely to trust your business and so will Google!

Doing these will give Google trust signals and as a result, you’ll be able to gain more visibility and rank higher on Google!

Post Regularly on Social Media

Posting Regularly on Social Media for Restaurant Reputation Management
Being active on social media helps in bolstering your online reputation!

Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, or even TikTok are powerful tools to market your restaurant and build trust with your customers.

Having a physical location is not enough to attract customers online.

 You need to have an active and engaging social media presence to boost your online reputation and increase your orders.

Platforms like Instagram and TikTok are becoming more popular among the younger generation, such as Gen Z and millennials.

They use these platforms to search and discover new places to eat and things to do. If you want to reach them, you need to be on these platforms too.

Comments on these platforms are also very influential, as they act as social proof. Customers tend to trust the opinions of other customers, as it is just human nature.

By getting more positive comments and being active on social media platforms, you can improve your conversion rate and grow your restaurant even further!

Encourage Feedback and Make It Easy

CSAT Customer Satisfaction Survey Form Template for Restaurants
Something simple like this works amazingly well!

As we said, reputation goes beyond the internet. Asking for feedback can give your customers a voice, and if you sincerely act on their suggestions – you can earn a reputation as a restaurant that values your customers – which can enhance your image greatly.

The easiest thing you can do is to use a CSAT form (see the picture above), which notes down every aspect of their experience on a scale from 1 to 5 – 5 being the most satisfied.

If you have an online ordering system, you can have it automatically send an email or a text message to gain feedback post-payment.

Alternatively, you can also have a QR code that points to your online feedback form.

Our system, KlikNRoll has all of these features and more at your disposal. Again, check out our product page below to find out more!

Try Out Digital PR

Digital PR for Restaurants
Getting mentions are amazing for your reputation, as well as for search engines!

Digital PR is one of the best ways to manage your restaurant’s reputation on a massive scale.

Digital PR can include a variety of things from articles in local newspaper publications to working with bloggers, or even social media shares from big names.

Think of publications like CNN, the New York Times, or your local news outlets.

They are great and can help tremendously in your branding and reputation, as well as your website rankings on Google.

Mentions from publications like these are essentially votes of confidence in the eyes of Google.

The more votes you have from authoritative websites, the better chances you get to rank!

Take Advantage of Influencer Marketing

Types of Food Influencers for Restaurants
There are many types of influencers!

Similar to the Digital PR route, you can try out influencer marketing to improve restaurant reputation management at scale.

Influencers can be broken down into 2 categories, which are social media influencers and bloggers/review sites.

Bloggers and review sites aim to rank for local keywords to gain traffic like “Japanese Restaurants in Hong Kong”.

A lot of them get thousands of views per month and they’re the high-conversion type of views.

Social media influencers are creators on platforms like YouTube and TikTok, which is great for getting your name to a lot of people at once.

However, the people viewing might not be immediately looking for something to eat or can be from another location – so the conversion rate might not be as good as food bloggers running review sites.

To find out more, check out our full in-depth guide on restaurant influencer marketing if you’re interested!

Organize Food Drives and Charity Events

Benefits of Sponsoring Local Events as a Restaurant
Goodwill leads to good impressions and branding!

Earlier in the article, we talked about corporate social responsibility and how people are willing to support businesses that are aligned with their social values.

As a restaurant, there are many ways to do so, but running food drives and other charity events is a great way to start.

Since these types of events are usually attended by locals, they’re great for pin-pointing locals who have the chance to come to the restaurant regularly.

Not to mention, these events are more likely than not broadcasted on television and mentioned on news sites – and if you remember the previous points, are great for SEO as well as overall brand image!

The Bottom Line

Reputation management doesn’t necessarily mean just managing your online presence.

A lot of factors are taken into account when thinking about maintaining a positive brand image and reputation.

If you need help in branding, or maybe just an easy and digitized way to gather and manage feedback – contact us to book a free consultation using the button below!

Last Updated by February 22, 2024
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