Every restaurant in the United States feels the power of their customers’ online reviews based from restaurant service. Every minute popular apps and websites like Yelp, Trip Advisor and Google help hungry patrons choose their dinners based on user reviews. In fact, 35% say a 3-star rating or below would discourage them from choosing a particular restaurant.
A Harvard study estimates that on a 5-star rating scale, for every half star added to a restaurant’s rating on Yelp, there is a 5%-9% increase in revenues. A similar study by two Berkeley economists discovered that the same half star improvement on Yelp can increase the chance a restaurant will be booked to capacity during peak hours by 19%.
Star ratings dramatically impact revenues
Many restaurants encounter similar problems when analyzing their star ratings–understanding why a customer rated their restaurant the way they did. There are lots of variables to consider. Not just food quality, but the friendliness of the wait staff, speed of service, and price all factor into a customer’s rating. For many owners and managers, they simply do not have the time or resources to invest into understanding what’s wrong with their restaurant service since they get negative reviews.
There’s a restaurant around the corner from our office that serve incredible tacos and burritos! They’re always fast, the establishment is clean and the food ingredients are always fresh. Most of their reviews are 5-stars and reflect their excellence in service and quality. But suddenly, they began receiving low ratings on various restaurant review websites.
The quality of the food and their customer service hadn’t skipped a beat. Their restrooms were clean, tables were bussed, and the owner couldn’t understand why poor reviews were being given or even how to improve restaurant service since it was already improved a lot.
He gave us a call and asked us to investigate. We used our Star Rating Analysis tool in the Datafyer Cloud to analyze where the problems were occurring. We quickly learned it wasn’t due to any of the obvious issues that restaurants encounter on a daily basis, it was something slightly out of the ordinary–a lack of available parking.
We helped the owner understand his restaurant’s problem and he began providing a parking solution to his customers. He expressed his apologies to customers on social media and the restaurant’s website. Soon, as the parking issues were solved, the negative reviews stopped.
Sometimes a simple misunderstanding causes a negative review
Through our history, we have learned that sometimes the most negative reviews are due to misunderstanding and small issues that are easily resolved. In this case, our neighborhood restaurant was threatened by their lack of parking. Learning why your customers are rating your company poorly is critical to your success. If your ratings are falling, and you want to improve restaurant service, we may be able to help, contact us today.