The novel Corona virus, Covid-19, has created havoc in the restaurant industry, tampered with our psychological distress and this is putting it mildly. Many had to adopt really quickly from relying on dine-in business to food delivery and take out due to this airborne transmission of this Covid-19 outbreak. Some parts of the world were well on their way adopting online delivery technologies and artificial intelligence such as in the Middle East but other parts of the world such as in Canada were not well prepared for the Covid-19 Pandemic.
As countries around the world implemented the necessary quarantines and social distancing practices to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, customers rushed online to order everything from toilet paper to baking flour. With Covid-19-Lockdown closing restaurants, we saw a spike in food delivery much like the 20% jump China reported during the peak of its Covid-19 pandemic crisis according to TechCrunch (techcrunch.com) In Dubai for instance, that jump in food delivery was much higher thanks to the already high penetration of food delivery apps and aggregators such as UberEats, Talabat, Deliveroo and Zomato. The Covid-19 outbreak slowed down dine-in but did not slow down food consumption frequencies.
Nevertheless, the increase in food delivery and takeout doesn't come without its set of problems. Two words, Restaurant Review. Consumer will remain consumers and will voice their grievances much louder now on online review sites and it might be a burden on your online presence. Besides issues with food delivery fees and delays, the food arriving cold, and risk of infection, customers are also keeping a keen eye on safety. Is the restaurant aware of risk of infection and taking the necessary measures to keep staff safe and Covid free (the use of hand sanitizers, wearing masks, etc.), are they abiding by the ever changing health restrictions, are their drivers wearing masks en route to delivering their food, is contactless delivery an option and so on. As restaurant owners, it is vital during this time to look after real time issues during Covid-19 lockdowns.
Restaurants have been among the hardest hit sectors during this Covid-19 pandemic but many have also been able to adopt to online food ordering and curb side pickups to offer access to food during the Covid-19 lockdown. Nevertheless, they had to adopt quickly to the new normal of operating a restaurant and mistakes are bound to happen. The good news is that business owners and operators have an abundance of feedback from customer reviews through online review sites to help catch those mistakes even if the reviews are a negative review or positive reviews. Listening to what customers are saying and adopting quickly is so paramount now. A single negative review, because you are just learning how run a smooth and safe food delivery operation, can shut you down before you had a chance to get started. This is an opportunity to turn a bad review into multiple positive reviews. It is all about your online reputation management and the two words, restaurant review.
So, if you manage the operations of your restaurant group, what are your options? Well, first you need to identify the different online review sites that customers use to leave a restaurant review on. You have your usual suspects such as the delivery apps and aggregators that we mentioned previously plus those available in other parts of the world such as DoorDash and Skip The Line. But there are other platforms that customer might resort to to complain. These include Google Maps, Facebook, Foursquare (mainly in the Middle East) and even the good old Yellow Pages. Keep in mind there consumers out there that will share their opinion on social media channels. You do not want to miss out on the potential negative review or reviews you might be missing if you are not on top of these reviews platforms or social media channels.
Working with your marketing team, operators should make sure they have access to all of these platforms or at the very least receive a summary report on a regular basis. However, this might not be fast enough for you to react to operational issue that take place that day and then a negative review shows up on one of these platforms. What you need is a more automated system to make you aware of possible food delivery issues when they happen. This allows you to react and fix the issue on the same day in order to prevent getting more negative reviews especially during this Covid-19 Pandemic.
A study showed that negative reviews succeed in chasing away customers from your business to your competitors. Research shows that one negative reviews drives away 22% of customers or around 30 potential buyers. The percentage of lost sales increases with the increase of negative reviews. If you receive three negative reviews, you will drive away 60% of potential customers and that number increases to 70% if you receive more than 5 negative reviews. As a restauranteur, you are probably wishing for the words positive reviews to start showing up again this blog. Do not worry, the Covid-19 pandemic will not be your downfall of your online reputation.
With that in mind, can you really afford not monitoring and responding to negative online reviews on a daily basis? Now this can be operationally difficult to accomplish using a manual process but luckily that's why online reputation management solutions such as Localyser exist.
Online review management tools are designed to aggregate all of your online reviews from different sources from across the Web and alert you when you receive new negative reviews.
At Localyser for example, the platform is integrated with over 70 different reviews sites from around the World.
The Covid-19 crisis is here. In conclusion, we have shown that in order to win in the food delivery and take out game (the new normal), your best weapon is to listen to what customers are saying so you can adopt quickly to new changes. We will help in anyway we can to improve the psychological distress from the reviews piling up. Contactless delivery, being aware of risk of infection and following proper health and safety protocols. Take this time to grow this new source of revenue. After all, this Covid-19 pandemic isn't going away very soon and diners are not coming back any time sooner. So schedule a demo with us today and improve your business.