“Where should we eat?”
I’ve often wondered how many times this is said in any given day. Probably millions. And if you take the next step and consider how is the decision made – it gets VERY interesting. Could it be because of a craving? A strong recommendation from a friend? A new place that just opened? Or one of various other reasons?
82% of the time, people check online to decide where to eat.
There are, of course, a myriad of ways consumers reach this final decision. But, research shows that 82% of the time people check online to decide where to eat. It might be they need to refresh their memory as to what is available, find something new or to confirm a friend’s recommendation… but 82% look online! That’s a whopping statistic – and one that is impossible to overemphasize.
Consistent, fresh, and positive reviews are ESSENTIAL to your online presence and reputation. By way of reminder, online ratings are determined by what is posted by users and the search engines DEMAND a steady stream of current reviews for your restaurant to be high on their search results. It’s also CRITICAL to respond to these reviews.
So if you don’t have an automated system to gather and post reviews online (and don’t worry, as a Royalty Rewards® Merchant, you already have this covered with the Royalty Rewards® Online Review Accelerator) plan on never being seen by these 82% of eaters checking where to eat. And don’t underestimate the importance of responding to these reviews – both positive and negative. (If you need help with that, ask your Coach and they can provide you with additional resources).
For my restaurant, the Royalty Rewards® Online Review Accelerator for been CRITICAL for our online reviews and it has meant THOUSANDS of additional sales in the past 2 months. How?
AS A DIRECT RESULT of the Royalty Rewards® automated system, I made the prestigious list of TripAdvisor’s Best of the Best for 2021. It was a total shock when I was notified that Los Gringos Locos was #14 of 25 restaurants listed in their Best Everyday Eats category. We are the ONLY California restaurant in this category and being on this list places us in the top 1% of restaurants in the world
It was a total shock… But I KNEW EXACTLY how it happened.
My niece, who works for Snapchat, texted me “How did this happen?!”
I couldn’t help but chuckle that this millennial was flabbergasted when her boomer uncle made a national Best of the Best list. I replied with a smiley emoji. But I KNEW EXACTLY how this happened – the automated system built into Royalty Rewards®.
For me, the question is now, “How do I leverage this?”
efore we made this announcement, we wanted to build awareness without revealing what it was. Sometimes awards like this become a “flash in the pan” and the benefit is short lived. We did not want that to happen. So before we announced it publicly, we teased the award for 2 weeks by placing the number 14 everywhere in our marketing (emails, posters, table tents) and letting all our customers know that an important announcement was going to be made. On announcement day, we accompanied it with a special discounted entree for $14.
And as we continue to leverage this, I’m not going to assume that everyone knows we’ve received this award. With that in mind, I am putting it EVERYWHERE. Emails (in the header, footer and as an article,) on my front door (a sticker,) in my 4-walls marketing (framed artwork hung on the walls) and on every single table (table tents with a QR code that directs them to TripAdvisor’s website.) I call this a humble brag – it’s everywhere and guests can’t miss it, but not really calling attention to it. Additionally, for this to have longer legs, we are celebrating this award with a $14 special entree or drink for the next 6 months on the 14th on the month (the special pricing will be for 3 days.) This gives us another reason to keep this award front and center for a longer period of time.
Online reputation management is real and can boost your business and sales pretty much for FREE. Make sure you are paying attention to this – it makes a huge difference. It did for me.
Bent Hansen, Owner of Los Gringos Locos. Long time Newsletter Contributor and Royalty Rewards® Merchant since 2008.