girl on phone

88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Google… There are a ton of places for guests to sound off with feedback – good and bad – about your restaurant.

The good news is that guests are not on their phones leaving bad reviews of your restaurant on Yelp, but here’s what they are doing.

1. Today’s restaurant guest values the experience they’re having.

This means they are more than likely “checking in” and tagging all of their friends.

Response needed: None. A like does go a long way in showing that you’re paying attention, however.

Bartender preparing a drink using tricks

2. Instagram isn’t the only place you’ll find #foodstagram.

30 million (and counting) have posted photos of their food or beverage on social media while at a restaurant.

Response needed: At a minimum, scrape social media once a week for these photos. You’ll find them from geo-tags or hashtags. Once you do find them, give them a like for sure – and maybe even a comment on the photo thanking the guest for stopping by. That brings you one step closer to building customer loyalty.

3.Restaurant guests are leaving online reviews… and they’re not always bad.

Response needed: Whether it’s a good review or not, always respond.

4. Guests are suggesting dining options to friends.

Whether it’s a traveling pal or someone looking for a date night, today’s consumer is always looking for social recommendations – and 88% trust their friends reviews more than anything else.

Response needed: This one is harder. If you happen to see someone recommending your restaurant (by luck, or from searching your restaurant name in social media) definitely respond. Perhaps you simply say “we hope to see you soon!” or you offer both parties a free dessert for the love.

Multiracial group of friends enjoying a beer - Young people hands toasting and cheering aperitif beers half pint - Friendship and youth concept - Warm vintage filter - Focus on bottom hand

5. Guests are making reservations online.

While this one isn’t a “conversation” per-say, your diners are going online to make reservations.

Response needed: Whether you use a tool such as Resy or simply take them over the phone, be sure to collect positive reviews and put them on your website or social media. This way, when potential guests are looking for a link or your phone number, they’ll see them.

With such a high level of trust in online word of mouth, it is crucial to make sure you’re keeping up with with restaurant reputation management.

 

>>How can you take control of these conversations? Keep reading.<<

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In a perfect world, Theresa would spend her days reading good books and writing all the time... and she'd own all the shoes her heart desired. When she's not on the hunt for shoes, you can find this Rhode Island transplant on the hunt for food that comes close to "Long Island". Her favorite? Caffe Dolce Vita in Providence's historic Federal Hill.