How to get great Yelp, Google, & Facebook reviews for your restaurant
- Business Tips
Need more reviews for your restaurant? We have good news and bad news. The bad news is that there’s no magic formula that will miraculously fill your Yelp and Facebook profiles with 5-star reviews.
The good news? There are a few best practices that can go a long way. Let’s take a look:
Get your friends and family to submit reviews
This is a great tactic when your restaurant is new and doesn’t have any reviews yet. The twist is that, technically, your friends and family need to identify themselves as such when they’re leaving the review. That doesn’t necessarily make their comments any less convincing, though. And, at the very least, their reviews will get your star rating off the ground while you wait for strangers to chime in.
Note that this tactic probably won’t work for Yelp, since they don’t allow you to ask for reviews (and they’ve got pretty sophisticated filters that enforce the rule).
Respond to all reviews ASAP
Once you’ve got a few reviews—good or bad—you need to respond to them so that your customers know that you’re paying attention. If customers notice that you respond to each review, they’re more likely to leave feedback themselves.
How do you respond? Well, good reviews are easy. Usually, you can just say thanks.
Bad reviews are a bit tougher. The key thing is to not take them personally and to respond as if potential customers are watching (because they definitely are). Be empathetic. Apologize, if necessary. If there’s been a case of mistaken identity, point it out without being sarcastic or rude.
Respond well to a bad review and you might just gain a new customer (or ten). Here’s some more advice on responding to negative customer reviews.
Share your reviews on social media
If you’ve hit a review lull, you can probably pick up a few more if you share the positive reviews you already have on your social media channels.
This doesn’t have to be boring. You can make reviews into engaging social content by making a funny quip or using the caption to point out your favorite comment in the review. Let your sense of humor out. Make it fun for everyone. Hopefully, a loyal customer will see your post and be reminded that they haven’t left you a review yet.
Sometimes the most direct route is the best. If someone’s a fan of your business, ask them to leave you an online rating.
The thing here is to be tactful and respectful. Don’t be annoying and don’t hound people to leave reviews. Ask once, nicely, and then leave it alone. Not every customer will leave you a review, but some will, and that will be enough in the long run.
Again, keep in mind that while Google and Facebook don’t mind if you ask customers for reviews, Yelp explicitly prohibits it. So, if you want to stay compliant, be sure you don’t ask for Yelp reviews.
While we’re on the subject of asking, a good way to non-verbally ask for reviews is to display Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, and Facebook badges at your restaurant and on your website. Your tech-savvy customers will be alerted that you welcome online reviews and will, hopefully, be inspired to add their own.
Finally, the old-fashioned way to get great reviews is to, well, be great. There’s no substitute for simply being fantastic at what you do. If your food and service are spot-on, your online reviews will take care of themselves. Really.
Was this helpful? Let us know if you have any other tactics to beef up your online reviews. And check our our updated guide to hiring employees for your restaurant.
In the meantime, just a quick reminder that you can get fantastic workers' comp through Huckleberry in minutes. It’s all online and everything’s really simple.