How can you create a better e-reputation for your restaurant?

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It’s a funny word, e-reputation, but what exactly does it mean for your restaurant? What impact does e-reputation have on your brand? What impact will this have on your sales? What role do your customers play through e-reputation? So let’s take a look at how to create a better e-reputation for your restaurant.

Who are the different e-reputation players?

Various e-reputation players rule the web in a certain way. First and foremost are the review platforms TripAdvisor, Yelp, restomontreal and others. These platforms are used by people to leave reviews of their experiences in various restaurants. As you know, these various platforms have grown in importance in recent years. That’s why, as a restaurateur, you can’t ignore these review sites. You need to integrate them into your customer experience strategy.

Your customers no longer need their computers; some will leave their comments as soon as they leave the restaurant, and others directly on the spot when paying their bills. You can see why building your restaurant’s e-reputation depends on a unique customer experience to generate a flow of positive reviews on this type of platform. You have social networks through your own page like Facebook. Your customers can leave comments. Here again, you need to have an effective marketing strategy in place. The impact could be disastrous if some of your pages are not properly managed. See our article on customer experience.

In e-reputation we have Google :

Google, a powerful search engine.

When it comes to e-reputation, we have Google. A powerful search engine that allows you to display reviews left by your customers. People are looking for this type of review to get an idea before they make their decision and go to your restaurant. It goes without saying that Google must be part of your e-reputation strategy.

Google lets you display the direction to your restaurant. Through a map, your service hours, telephone number and the possibility of reserving a table. The tools are numerous and help the restaurant not only in its reputation but also in certain aspects of its management.

Used properly, Google is a partner that could prove profitable for your restaurant. Google’s extensive geolocation and search engine optimization features enable you to display results on the Internet that are relevant to your future customers and to your restaurant. Not only will it suggest restaurants to searchers, it will also recommend restaurants with the highest ratings, as well as those closest to the search.

Traditional media :

We could also talk about more traditional media such as guidebooks and food reviews in newspapers and magazines. In my experience, we must continue to take these traditional media into account, even if we know that the vast majority of people rely on social networks, comment sites and the like to make up their minds.

Other players can make a difference, such as forums, specialized blogs and various influencers. We’ll be talking about how to work with these players shortly.

How can my staff be a key player in my e-reputation?

Yes, of course, your staff are at the heart of your e-reputation. This can be seen regularly on comment sites. When someone isn’t satisfied with the service, or a member of your staff hasn’t been pleasant to them, they don’t hesitate to mention it. The problem is that this is detrimental to your business, so it’s not the person’s name that customers will remember, but rather the name of your establishment. It’s imperative that your staff are trained accordingly, so that they understand that their attitude could have a disastrous impact on traffic as well as on your sales.

This same customer is an integral part of your e-reputation, as it is he who will give you one or five stars. He’s also the one who’ll put a more or less attractive photo on Instagram, make a negative comment on your Facebook page, communicate this information through their own networks. As you’ve seen, satisfied and dissatisfied customers alike have become accustomed to leaving their comments on the main review sites.

These are the same review sites that over the years have become true benchmarks. Even before visiting a restaurant or reserving a table, your future customers will be looking at the comments and, for some, just the number of stars awarded.

How do I manage my e-reputation?

You’re about to set up an e-reputation watch for your restaurant. It’s true that this is a full-time job. The first is to respond to notices. Whether positive or negative. A personalized message from you will be a good omen. People will appreciate your approach and you’ll gain a few loyal customers. It’s a great loyalty-building strategy, and a great way to increase your sales. This must be part of your administrative management. A negative review can be an opportunity to improve certain aspects of your service. Responding to reviews shows that you care about your customers.

Involve your staff:

Creating an e-reputation for your restaurant also means raising awareness among your staff, who are often on the front line. How many customers are lost because of poor service. You have to manage all the platforms. You can expect to receive notices. You could set up a calendar with a timetable so that you can visit all these platforms and read the reviews in response. Of course, you also have the choice of using an agency to help you with the day-to-day management of your e-reputation. Don’t hesitate to reward the best reviews with a small gift. You’ll create a pleasant surprise and promote your establishment.

You can also be proactive and, for example, send your customers satisfaction forms. These satisfaction forms could be given to customers who have decided to make a reservation at your restaurant. Why them? You’ll also be able to follow up, collect feedback and analyze it. You can also decide to publish them on your various networks.

In conclusion, managing your restaurant’s e-reputation will enable you to increase your sales.

Creating an e-reputation for your restaurant requires a great deal of attention. We could ask ourselves what type of digital medium your e-reputation is going to be played out on. We’ve briefly described some of them, and we’ll come back to some of them and dissect others.

As you can see, good management of your e-reputation can have an impact on increasing your retention rate as well as boosting your sales, with better word-of-mouth advertising for new customers. You’ll also increase your booking rate and reduce your marketing costs.
The benefits are numerous, and these are just a few examples. Now it’s time to implement your e-reputation strategy.

Philippe Bertrand

Founder of the Quebec Restaurant Entrepreneurship Center

  • Master of Restaurant and Hospitality Management
  • Licence Rights-Economy-Management: Creating and taking over a restaurant

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