Tribute Media | Inbound Marketing Blog

Online Reviews for Restaurants, Game Changer?

Written by Wally Narwhal | Oct 1, 2012 4:40:00 PM

A while ago, I made a personal choice to be a restrictive eater. When a new restaurant comes to town that fits my eating preference, I can’t wait to go try it out! However, recently I heard of a new restaurant and I was dying to go try it. That was until I went online to see their customer reviews.  I was shocked to see things like poor service, overpriced food, and selective menu items. Of course after all my excitement, I decided not to go.  Why waste my time on a poor restaurant when there are others I truly love?

Online reviews are changing the way people make decisions on where to eat. It makes me wonder, are these restaurants monitoring these reviews? Before online reviews, restaurants had an opportunity to respond to their customers concerns, now with the ease of smart phones and social media people will often avoid confrontation and just complain online. Talk about a game changer! 

What are restaurants doing to make sure they hear from their customers and stay in front of negative reviews? Offline if someone has a poor experience, they tell 10 people. If they have a great experience, they may tell a couple people or if someone asks for a recommendation.  Online reviews are the same.  People are far more likely to give bad reviews before they will write a good review. 

As the Internet gets farther and farther ingrained into our society, restaurants are going to have to start properly responding to negative online reviews. An unanswered negative review shows that the restaurant doesn’t care what is being said about them. If the restaurant answers a negative review, it tells the potential customer that they are working to improve and want to please its customers.