When you have a 3-star overall rating for your restaurant on any review platform such as Yelp, Tripadvisor, Google or Facebook, getting it over 4-stars as soon as possible should be a priority for every restaurant. It is doable with this 3-step strategy.
Before we get into the steps to raise your restaurant rating, it is important to understand that it takes hard work and consistency to build and maintain your business reputation long-term.
While the short-term goal may be to boost ratings from 3 stars to 4, the effort will require a big picture outlook. There will be 5-star reviews that become necessary to move the needle.
That being said, improving your restaurant’s ratings involves some basic math.
Improve Your Restaurant Ratings from 3 to 4+ Stars:
1. Ask for 5-Star Reviews
You need a lot of 5-star reviews from a math standpoint which we will get to shortly. But these 5-star reviews are going to come from a very specific customer group – satisfied repeat customers.
Every business has satisfied their repeat customers. This is the raving fan club. They are true loyalists. But they may not have left you a review yet. Approach this group to take a moment to leave you a review.
Remember, a customer who is angry, upset, or had some kind of clear issue with the dining experience may be more motivated to post a review than someone who is happy and satisfied. So when you have that happy customer, don’t be shy. Ask for their review.
It is very important to remember not to offer any incentives in exchange for 5-star reviews. This may violate policy on some of the review platforms and not necessary to offer for your satisfied customers.
Are you wondering how many more reviews you need to improve your restaurant ratings? You can use the reviews calculator to determine how many 5-star reviews you will need to raise the rating from current to the desired level.
Let’s say on Yelp your restaurant’s current rating is 3.2.
You would like to increase the rating to 4.2.
Assuming your restaurant has a total of 28 reviews.
You will need 35 more 5-star reviews to go to 4.2 rating.
This is assuming that all the new reviews will be 5-stars and nothing less. In reality, you will need more reviews than that.
We used our Ratings Calculator to figure out these numbers. If you interested in a copy of the Ratings Calculator? Contact us today.
2. Stop Getting Low Ratings
Again from a math standpoint, you need to prevent receiving new ratings below 4. That means to respond to a customer before an issue becomes a bad review and low rating.
The sooner you can address a customer issue in a friendly manner, the better chances you have of fixing the problem before it becomes the subject of an online review. Don’t let more than 24-48 hours go by before responding.
- Enable a feedback survey through online ordering. This way you’ll have a better chance of becoming aware of a problem early on.
- Train staff to ask diners at the end of their meal.
- Install feedback cards instore or feedback forms on website.
When there is a negative review posted, it is important to respond publicly to those as well, as soon as possible.
You don’t have to fix a customer complaint publicly, in fact most of the time you probably shouldn’t. But you can respond in a friendly manner, and invite the customer to call you.
Take a look at some tips and strategies for dealing with bad reviews. That way the people viewing the post will see that you made an effort, and you have the chance to rectify the situation.
Remember, a customer can change the rating on a new review if the concern has been addressed.
It’s important to continuously modify your reviews on these platforms in order to improve restaurant ratings.
- Google Maps
You can also use a local marketing software to monitor reviews on all platforms.
3. Identify Gaps and Improve Operations
The prior 2 steps will be band-aids, trying to hold the ratings above 4+ unless you can consistently maintain quality in food, service, and operations. That means identifying gaps and fixing it.
It starts with looking at feedback from various sources. What have your customers already told you about the processes you have in place? What have they said about their dining experience? You may have a few natural places that you can focus your early efforts.
- Online Ordering – The ability to order online offers a significant customer convenience. But is your process streamlined and as easy as possible? It can be frustrating for customers to deal with sites that aren’t mobile-friendly, or where the process isn’t entirely clear.
- Feedback Cards – If you’ve already asked those who dine in your restaurant what they thought of the experience, this can offer a great place to pick up cues about what can easily be addressed. If you haven’t offered customers this opportunity, it can be a great way to find out more about customer opinion on your business.
- Feedback Survey – A feedback survey can offer many of the same indications about the dining experience that you would get from the cards. Surveys can be set up online or in the restaurant. This may offer customers a chance to go into more detail than the cards.
- Previous Online Reviews – While some diners may have a tendency to get negative in the reviews, the important thing is to not take it all personally. If you are operating a business, and you’re interested in improving results, there may be some nuggets of truth in these reviews. While parts may be hard to hear, be honest about what you can resolve.
It is important to analyze the trends, and find operational issues behind the low ratings.
Some of the most common complaints include:
- Food delivered late.
- A wrong or missed order.
- The food was undercooked or overcooked.
- Food was cold.
These are all issues that can be systematically addressed with a proper plan.
Building your reputation is not a one-time thing. Maintaining a good reputation that shows as high-rating reviews is an ongoing process. Our ratings calculator can help you to understand what it will take for operations and marketing efforts to solidify your restaurant’s reputation. Contact us today.