Recommendations, reviews, and stars have always played an important role for restaurants; they are the currency of the culinary world. Restaurant reviews can make or break a restaurant. In a world with so many options, we decide which restaurant to go to or order from based on the reviews and stars it has on platforms such as Yelp or Google. So, as a restaurant owner, paying attention to your online reputation and reviews becomes critical.
Petpooja hosted a live session with celebrity restaurateur Kabir Chugh to celebrate our love for food. Kabir is a well-known name in the culinary world. He is a restaurateur living his dream. Moreover, he regularly assists aspiring restaurateurs in setting up their restaurants. Kabir shared some of his insights and experiences about the restaurant industry during the conversation. Without further ado, let’s dive into the highlights of the session.
Impact of Reviews on Your Restaurant Listing
According to Kabir, reviews are the centre of e-commerce and are critical in determining your visibility on food aggregator platforms. When you receive positive reviews on Zomato and Swiggy, the algorithm pushes your restaurant ahead on the forum. You won’t need to spend money on advertising to get more visibility. Kabir gave the example of his restaurant, where they don’t spend on advertising on Zomato but still get good traction because of positive reviews.
Although Kabir encourages us to work for all reviews, good or bad, he shared valuable insights nonetheless. Zomato and Swiggy have an internal system to rate customers, based on which their reviews get weighted differently. For example, if a customer frequently leaves negative reviews, their weight decreases; therefore, their reviews carry less weight.
Hacks to Handle Bad Restaurant Reviews
Here are some cool hacks restaurants can apply to deal with bad restaurant reviews.
Hack #1: Find the problem with Data
Kabir’s first hack is related to funnel reports generated by Zomato and Swiggy.
Funnel reports generated by Zomato and Swiggy are a series of metrics that track the customer journey from when they see a restaurant’s listing to when they complete an order. It shows how many customers see the listing, how many click through to the menu, how many add items to the cart, and how many complete the order.
- Restaurants should ask their point of contact (POC) from Zomato and Swiggy for detailed food ratings. Detailed food ratings will provide valuable insights into their reasons for bad customer ratings.
Kabir explained the above point with the example of his restaurant, Nizams’ Element 1, where he found his bad restaurant reviews were due to missing items from the orders. He discovered that some delivery executives were taking out items. He complained to Zomato and Swiggy, and the restaurant’s rating improved after taking action.
- In online food delivery, restaurants must find out their ‘impressions of the menu‘ in online orders, i.e., how many people click and check out their restaurant listing. Restaurateurs should find out the average impressions on the menu of their area and compare themselves accordingly.
- ‘Menu to order‘ means the ratio of people who check the menu and those who place an order. Restaurateurs should check how many users are going to their menu and ordering. If many people are turning back from ordering after checking your menu, you need to work on your menu.
- Another point Kabir asks restaurants to focus on is their ‘cart to order‘ rating. If people add items to their carts but don’t place an order, then restaurants should consider changing their pricing to make it more attractive.
- Focus on your ‘repeat rate‘. However, remember that a new restaurant listing will have a lower repeat rate as the restaurant is still acquiring new customers.
Restaurants must continually follow up with their POC for detailed food ratings.
Hack #2: The CTA Sticker! (Delivery – Free)
Kabir’s next hack was as simple as it was effective, practical, and fantastic.
- Kabir asked restaurants to stick Call to Action (CTA) stickers on the packaging. Ask customers for a review, briefly explaining how you respect their restaurant reviews, how it affects your business, and how you will improve upon your mistakes.
- Human behaviour wants to help, and they listen if you ask them, Kabir points out. Even if the customers were not planning to leave feedback, they would appreciate your efforts and share reviews.
- Kabir shared his experience running Nizams’, where they started a dedicated helpline (Call/Text/Whatsapp) to listen to dine-in feedback. There is usually a wait time of some 40 minutes in his restaurant, so it wasn’t easy to listen to everyone. The number helped him identify patterns of complaints and take corrective measures.
Kabir asks restaurant owners to keep the number to themselves to understand their business better.
Hack #3: Reroute the Feedback
Bad restaurant reviews on public forums can turn away your customers. Kabir asks restaurants to reroute the negative feedback and bring positive change.
- Rerouting feedback to internal systems can provide valuable insights into the quality of service and staff performance without risking any negative impact on the restaurant’s reputation or business.
- Paid dine-in restaurants can provide a tablet with an app to customers and their bill for app-based feedback. App-based feedback is suitable for busy restaurant owners to understand the quality of service and staff performance.
- The feedback can be collected internally and not be shared online to prevent any negative impact on the restaurant’s reputation and business. Cloud kitchens can print a barcode on the bill and a CTA sticker on the order packaging to direct customers to a feedback form.
For implementing the above feedback mechanism in your restaurants, Brother QL 800 Label Printer can be used along with Petpooja+ service to get feedback barcodes on bills and CTA stickers on the packaging. The Petpooja+ service also offers a loyalty package and a feedback mechanism for cloud kitchens.
Hack# 4: Win Loyalty
Kabir stresses collecting customer data through reviews to use this data and make a loyal customer pool which in long run, will scale the business.
- Restaurants can collect customer data organically using the Petpooja barcode (they can put this on their food packaging). Customers can scan it to get some discount the next time they order. Customers on Swiggy and Zomato are directed to a QR code and WhatsApp bot to collect their data.
- When the customers scan the barcode, it takes the user to the WhatsApp bot, which will provide a direct order link. Restaurants can get this link from Petpooja. With this, the restaurant can collect customer data and ask them to order directly, offering them a discount on their next order.
- The first step towards building customer loyalty is collecting their data. Restaurants can use this to push SMS discounts and generate direct repeat orders, eventually paying less commission.
- Petpooja can help in creating category-based SMS blasts. Customers can be divided into categories based on regularity, and discounts can be offered accordingly. For instance, someone who has not ordered in three months can get a 20% discount, someone calling three times a week can get a free brownie, and someone ordering monthly can get a free milkshake on their third order.
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