Why Should Restaurant Owners Reply to Google Reviews?

Unlike most businesses where they have to fight tooth and nail just for a customer to leave a review, the restaurant industry is different.

Customers are more than happy to leave their thoughts on a restaurant after a meal – whether those thoughts are good or bad. In fact, according to a study by Bright Local, 67% will consider leaving a review for a positive experience, while 40% will consider leaving a review for a negative experience.

This presents a unique opportunity for restaurant owners. Not only can they get feedback on their business, but they can also use that feedback to improve their operations.

Of course, it’s not enough just to collect reviews. Restaurant owners need to be proactive and reply to them as well.

In this article, we will explain why Google reviews are important for restaurants and offer some tips on how to reply to them.

The Importance of Google Reviews

Google reviews are online reviews that are written about businesses on Google. They appear on Google Maps and in the search results when someone looks up a business. Google reviews can be positive or negative, and they often include comments about the business, as well as a rating out of five stars.

So why should restaurant owners reply to Google reviews?

Restaurant owners should reply to Google reviews because they can influence whether someone decides to visit their restaurants or not. By responding, they can improve the restaurant’s reputation by showing that they care about customers’ feedback and their experience.

An essential part of business is building and maintaining positive relationships with your customers. Good customer relations encourage repeat business and can lead to positive word-of-mouth marketing.

According to a survey, 89% of consumers are ‘highly’ or ‘fairly’ likely to use a business that responds to all of its online reviews.

Responding to online reviews is one way to show your customers that you value their feedback and are interested in hearing what they have to say – both the good and the bad.

It can also help build trust with potential customers. When they see that you’re responsive to feedback, they’ll be more likely to believe that you’re a business that cares about its customers and is committed to providing a good experience.

If you’re still not convinced that you should be replying to your Google reviews, then here are more benefits:

1. Increase Your Chances of Getting More Reviews

Another reason to reply to your Google reviews is that it can actually help you increase the number of reviews you get. According to a study, The response rates for small businesses that regularly respond to reviews can jump as high as 20.8%

This means that when customers see that you are actively replying to reviews, they will be more likely to leave a review themselves. 

 And the more reviews you have, the better your chances are of ranking higher in search results.

2. Improve Your Online Reputation

Your online reputation is important, and your Google reviews are a big part of that. According to Bright Local, more consumers use Google to evaluate local businesses than ever before. In 2021, 81% did, but the year before that, just 63% did.

This means by replying to your reviews, you can help improve your online reputation – and that can lead to more customers.

3. Get More Insights Into Your Business

When you reply to your Google reviews, you can get valuable insights into how customers feel about your business. 

Are there certain areas that need improvement? Are customers happy with your food or service? 

By paying attention to the feedback in your reviews, you can make changes to improve your business.

4. Stand Out From Your Competitors

Finally, replying to your Google reviews is a great way to stand out from your competitors. A survey found that more consumers are reading online reviews than ever before. In 2021, 77% ‘always’ or ‘regularly’ read them when browsing for local businesses (up from 60% in 2020).”

If you are one of the few businesses that are actively replying to reviews, you will definitely stand out from the rest. 

This can help you attract more customers and get more business.

5. Turn a negative review into a positive one

If someone leaves a negative review, you have an opportunity to turn it into a positive one. According to Yelp, consumers are 33% more likely to upgrade their review if a business responds with a personalized message within a day”

How? By responding in a professional and helpful manner.

This shows the customer that you’re willing to listen to feedback and make improvements. It also shows potential customers that you’re a business that cares about its customers.

When done right, responding to a negative review can actually improve your reputation – and increase sales.

Now that we’ve gone over some of the benefits of replying to Google reviews, let’s take a look at some tips on how to do it.

5. Reviews can help improve your SEO

Google considers businesses that are active in responding to reviews to be more relevant and trustworthy. Replying to reviews will increase your engagement, as a result, your business will be more likely to show up in search results – which can lead to more customers.

Tips to Reply to Positive Google Reviews

When replying to a positive review, your goal should be to thank the customer for their business and let them know that you’re grateful for their feedback. 

Here are a few tips on how to do this:

Keep it short and sweet.

Your reply doesn’t need to be long or detailed. In fact, shorter replies are generally better.

Thank the customer for their business.

Be sure to thank the customer for their business. This shows that you’re grateful for their support.

Personalize your response.

Personalized responses are always best. Mention the customer by name and, if possible, mention something specific about their experience.
For example, you could say something like, “Thank you for your business, John! We’re so glad you enjoyed your meal.”
This will make your response seem more genuine and sincere.

Invite them to come back.

Invite the customer to come back again in the future. This is a great way to build loyalty among your customer base.
For example, you could say something like, “We hope to see you again soon!”
This is just a general overview of how to respond to a positive review.

Tips for Replying to Negative Google Reviews

When you’re responding to a negative Google review, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Be Polite and professional.

This is especially important if you’re responding to a negative review. Even if the customer is being rude, you should remain calm and courteous in your response.

Personalize your responses.

A generic “Thank you for your feedback!” message will come across as insincere. Instead, take the time to mention something specific from the review.
For example, you could say “Thank you for your feedback! We’re sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy your meal. We would love to know what we could have done to make your experience better.”

Avoid getting into an argument with the customer.

If someone leaves a negative review, they may be upset or angry. It’s important to avoid getting into a back-and-forth argument with them, as this will only make the situation worse. If you need to, you can politely disagree with their opinion, but always do so in a professional and calm manner.
For example, you could say “We’re sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy your meal. We pride ourselves on using fresh, local ingredients. Would you be willing to tell us what specifically didn’t meet your expectations?”

Offer a solution.

Finally, try to offer a solution if you’re responding to a negative review. For example, if someone didn’t enjoy their meal, you could offer to comp them for their next visit. This shows that you’re willing to go the extra mile to make things right, and it may convince the customer to give your restaurant another chance.
For example, you could say “We’re sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy your meal. We would love to make it up to you. Please come back and see us again, and we’ll comp your meal.”
These are just a few tips to keep in mind when responding to Google reviews. By following these tips, you can show potential customers that you’re a business that cares about its customers – and increases your chances of getting more sales.

Wrapping Up

Google reviews are important because they can influence potential customers’ decisions to visit your restaurant. That’s why it’s so important to respond to all of your reviews, both the good and the bad.

When you’re responding to a review, always remain polite and professional. Personalize your responses, and avoid getting into an argument with the customer. If you’re responding to a negative review, try to offer a solution.

Following these tips, you’ll be able to effectively respond to all of your Google reviews. Thanks for reading!

If you don’t want to spend all your time responding to reviews, we suggest using a review management software like Local View. Our software will help you track, monitor, and reply to all of your online reviews – so you can focus on running your business. 

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