How to Master Google Restaurant Reviews

By Emma LiburdiJun 5th, 2024

Phone screen showing a restaurant's profile with reviews on Google Maps

In today’s digital age, online reviews are the modern-day word-of-mouth, and hungry diners often turn to Google restaurant reviews to find their next meal. Since 98% of consumers read reviews to help inform their decisions, it’s crucial for restaurants to encourage satisfied customers to provide feedback and manage their online reputation effectively. In this article we will walk through strategies for growing the number of restaurant reviews on your Google profile, and how you can leverage this feedback to boost loyalty and attract new diners.

5 Tips to Drive Restaurant Reviews

Directly asking diners to share their honest feedback is a highly effective strategy to grow the number of reviews your restaurant receives. Here are a few ideas to get started:

  1. Ask at the Right Time: Requesting feedback at the right time is crucial. Train your staff to ask for reviews at the end of a meal when customers express satisfaction. For example, a simple, “We’re glad you enjoyed your meal. If you have a moment, please leave us a review on Google,” can be very effective.
  2. Incentivize Feedback: Offer a small incentive to encourage diners to leave reviews. This could be a discount on their next visit, a free appetizer, or entry into a gift card draw.
  3. In-Restaurant Signage: Encourage customers to leave reviews by placing signs and QR codes around your restaurant. For example, you can display these signs on tabletops, at the checkout counter, or on the menu. Ensure the process is straightforward by providing clear instructions or a scannable QR code that directs customers to your review page.
  4. Follow Up Via Email or Text: For restaurants that collect customer emails through reservations or online ordering platforms, sending a follow-up email post-visit can be an effective way to request reviews. Personalize the message, thank them for their visit, and include a direct link to your Google review page. See how Renegade Burrito partnered with ChowNow and Boostly to drive customer reviews through a text campaign.
  5. Social Media Engagement: Remind followers to leave reviews using your social media platforms. Share posts that highlight how much you value their feedback and include direct links to your Google review page. Engaging with your audience in comments and direct messages also shows that you care about their opinions and experiences.

By implementing these strategies, restaurants can effectively encourage satisfied customers to share their experiences on Google. Now, let’s walk through how your team should manage these reviews.

Best Practices for Managing Reviews

Effectively managing your Google Restaurant Reviews is essential for enhancing your restaurant’s online reputation. In fact, a staggering 97% of people who read reviews also pay attention to the company’s responses. This presents a golden opportunity to showcase your restaurant’s personality and professionalism. Follow these tips to make the most of your customers’ feedback:

  1. Create response templates and guidance: Develop clear guidelines on how to address compliments, FAQs, and common complaints such as service issues, food quality, or wait times. This helps your team respond promptly while maintaining a professional tone.
    • For Positive Reviews: Express sincere gratitude with a simple “Thank you for the kind review! We’re delighted you enjoyed your experience.”
    • For Negative Reviews: Negative feedback requires internal investigation first. Then acknowledge concerns, apologize if appropriate, offer solutions, and reassure feedback is taken seriously.
  2. Delegate Review Management: Assign a senior team member to oversee the review process. This ensures consistent, timely responses and creates a leadership opportunity within your team.
  3. Leverage positive reviews as marketing content: Share glowing feedback on your website, social media, or in-store marketing materials to build trust and attract new customers through authentic recommendations.

In conclusion, encouraging diners to leave reviews and adopting best practices for managing feedback, is a great way for restaurants to showcase their commitment to excellent service and attract new customers. 

Managing Google reviews is just one way your restaurant can improve your visibility online. Check out this related article to learn how to master local search marketing.

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