Reviews Frequency: Restaurant Owner's Guide.
Customers Want To Know You Are Worth Talking About
More Reviews Adds Reliability To Your Good Star Rating
Focus On Google Reviews First
Multiple Good Ratings Are Necessary To Overcome A Single Bad Rating
90% of Customers use Online Reviews to choose a Restaurant How much does the Frequency of Reviews matter?
Some Restaurant owners feel that they’ve done all they needed to do because they had a great Review-getting campaign that resulted in a nice chunk of reviews last year. However, a consistent flow of reviews helps you rise in search rankings and helps customers to be confident in your restaurant.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen a Restaurant manager get a burst of inspiration and hire someone (or take it upon themselves) to push for reviews in some way and then suddenly there’s a dropoff.
Think about how that looks to a searching customer.
A potential customer comes across the listing for a restaurant that had many good reviews for a couple of months and then suddenly, nothing.
Since people often look at your most recent reviews, if the last one was a while ago or even worse, a bad review, this can set off warning bells. If there is another choice with more recent reviews, a customer may choose that competitor, even if the overall score is not quite as good.
Potential customers want to know what the experience at your restaurant is like today, not just how it was six months ago.
When seeing a massive drop-off in review activity, it’s not unreasonable for a restaurant researcher to ask, “What happened?” A small trickle of reviews after a big burst is suspicious enough, but if there’s a total lack of reviews in the following months, it can easily and understandably be interpreted as a sign that you’ve gone out of business.
And it’s not just humans making these determinations - search engines like Google certainly think it matters how recent reviews are since they will lower your search ranking and findability if you have fewer and older reviews than your competitors.
Most customers don’t think about a restaurant’s business and marketing aspects. Customers aren’t going to wonder what happened to your Review Management program. They will ask:
What happened to the quality of the food or service that caused people to stop reviewing your business?
Was there some sort of disaster?
Is there incompetent new management?
Did someone get food poisoning?
Are they even there anymore?
Did the menu change for the worse?
Just … what happened?
Whatever assumptions are made from a lack of reviews, they are usually not good ones. Can you chance your customer not wanting to take the risk? Can you risk them choosing a local competitor that does have consistent and recent reviews?
One final caution. A restaurant with only a single burst of reviews could be flagged by review sites as suspicious. Some online review sites police their review submissions looking for unlikely patterns such as:
An unusually large amount of reviews coming in a short period of time that also suddenly drops off
Reviews that are suspiciously similar in wording (Were they told what to say?)
Reviews that appear incentivized, or paid for in some way. (Are people being paid to say good things about you, rather than sharing authentic experiences?)
Getting flagged for such things may even result in past reviews being removed on some services. You don’t want that to happen. This is why a plan for consistent plan that grows your number of reviews over time is essential not only to working within the system the review sites allow for, but also, more importantly, to result in the most number of great new customers choosing your Restaurant.
See these articles for more information:
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