The Top 5 Ways to Generate Reviews for Your Restaurant
The Top 5 Ways to Generate Reviews for Your Restaurant
Posted By
June 20, 2022

It is no longer the outside of your restaurant that gives the first impression. It’s the online reviews about your restaurant. In this day and age, it is crucial to have an abundance of online reviews for potential customers to read. In 2021, 77% of customers read reviews before going to the restaurant. If that is the case, it is important to know how to generate positive reviews.

Social Proof

It is important to know what social proof is before you embark on your ‘generating reviews’ journey. Social proof is the idea when people make any type of purchase whether it is clothing, furniture, vehicles, or in the case of this blog, food. People will look for reviews and recommendations before making their final decision. This is why it is key to have multiple reviews for potential customers to read and find positive recommendations for your restaurant.

Review Generation

Now let’s define review generation. Review generation is the process of getting more reviews from customers for your business onto review sites. Review sites include Google, Trip Advisor, Yelp, Zomato, Facebook and many more. Review generation is a vital component of online reputation management that serves to improve your online presence. Generating reviews will help your business build trust with your customers.

Here are 5 Ways to Generate Reviews:

Incentives & Email Marketing

QR Codes


Training & Customer Engagement

Social Media

  1. Incentives & Email Marketing

It is no secret customers love receiving discounts or freebies. This is a surefire way to ask customers for reviews. Offer the customer an incentive after they have left your restaurant an online review on an accredited review site. The incentive will inspire customers to leave your restaurant a review and provide the opportunity to dine in the future. You have achieved review generation and have achieved customer retention. Incentive Ideas:

  • 15% off the next meal
  • Free appetizer
  • Free kids meal with main meal purchase
  • $5.00 gift card

Incentives can easily be promoted through your email marketing campaigns. Simply include a link in your email for customers to use to leave a review. If you are worried about not having customer contact information; provide a form for the customer to fill out when signing into your wifi and collect customer emails for your campaigns.

Sample Incentive Email Review Requests:

  • Thank you for dining with us today, we hope you enjoyed your experience. We would love to know your thoughts. Please leave a review with the link below and receive 15% off your next meal.
  • It was a pleasure serving you today. We look forward to seeing you again. Before your next visit, we’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave us a review with the link below and receive a free appetizer on your next visit.
  • [Customer Name], thank you for choosing to dine with us today! We look forward to hearing about your experience. Kindly leave us a review with this link and receive a $5.00 gift certificate.
  • Hi [Customer Name], it was a pleasure to serve you today at [Business Name]. We want you to dine with us again and give you $5.00. If you wouldn't mind leaving us some feedback so we can continue to improve our service. After you leave your feedback, use your $5.00 gift certificate right away.

  1. QR Codes

In the US alone, 11 million households scan QR codes. It has become second nature when customers see a QR code, they will pull out their smartphone to scan it. This is an opportunity to leverage a trend. Simply having a QR code that sends your customers to a landing page where they can leave a review is effective and will generate reviews for your business. Remember to customize your landing page with your branding so you aren't losing the human touch. Places to put your QR Codes:

  • Menus
  • Table tops
  • Front doors
  • Bathroom Stall Doors
  • Receipts

  1. Surveys

Another way to generate reviews is by asking your customers for feedback through a survey. You can provide a review option at the end of the survey. Surveys are a great way to gather in-depth information on how your customers are feeling. You can also ask the right questions in the areas you are having issues with.

Here are some examples of questions to ask in your survey:

1. How was your overall experience at the restaurant?

2. How did you find out about our restaurant?

3. How likely are you to visit us again? Rate from 1 (Never) to 5 (Very Likely)

4. What did you enjoy most about your experience?

5. Is there anything you would change about your experience?

  1. Training & Customer Engagement

To solicit feedback from your customers is all about the interaction they have with your staff at your restaurant. Therefore, make sure your staff is well-trained in how to ask customers for feedback. In the final stage of the serving interaction when payment is being made, it is a perfect time for your staff to encourage the happy customer to leave a positive review. Customers may simply overlook the need to write a review if there was nothing wrong. A study showed that 43% of customers won't leave a review after a good experience because they don’t think the business cares. However, a friendly reminder will spark the notion of wanting to write a review.

Customers most likely are sharing photos of your food with their friends and family through text messages. Therefore, it is important to motivate customers to share their photos of your food on social media. Have your staff encourage customers to check in to your locations on Facebook or other location-based social media sites. It is a good way to direct customers to leave positive reviews for your restaurant.

  1. Social Media

Social media is dominating the digital landscape and is the best free option to advertise your business. The average time a person spends on social media is about two hours and twenty-four minutes. Therefore, it is important to utilize social media to generate reviews for your business.

  1. Make sure to advertise your social media platforms especially Facebook and Instagram in your restaurant. You can put your social media handle on table tops, signs in your restaurants, and on your receipts.
  2. Include your social media handles at the bottom of your email campaigns.
  3. Train your staff to promote following your social media accounts.

It is easy to generate reviews on your social media. Customers can use their own social media accounts to leave comments and reviews. It is easy for the customer and an important part of digital marketing for your business.

What About Negative Reviews?

Lastly, you may worry generating all these new reviews will bring in some negative reviews. You are correct. However, all reviews are good reviews. Of course, it is important to have mainly positive reviews. Although, it is also important to have negative reviews. Here’s why:

  1. Negative reviews build trust with your customers. They know that you are being transparent.
  2. Negative reviews are an opportunity to improve your relationships with customers who have had a negative experience.
  3. Negative reviews help your business improve when valid customer complaints are brought to your attention.

How an Online Reputation Management Tool Can Help

An online reputation management solution such as Localyser can help you generate reviews for your business. Loclayser can help create a QR code, branded landing pages, and AI analytics to find out where your problem areas are.  

Reach out today to learn how easy Localyser makes managing restaurant reviews across multiple websites and more.

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