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The Importance of Customer Reviews

How important are customer reviews to the success of your restaurant? Industry report breaks this am to reveal the facts!

Equipment failure due to heat. But we are back!

Transcript of the Video: The Importance of Customer Reviews

Well, guess what’s in the shot, Andrew? It’s going to be trucks, Jeff. We tried something new. We didn’t quite go to the extent of getting a vacant lot but I really thought this big grassy area would do the trick, Andrew. Well, here we are. Welcome to Reservations. I’m Andrew McCauley. I’m Jeff Harrison. Of course, this is the show we bring you live tips, interesting information about the hospitality industry and if you’re around and watching us live, welcome. I see a few people popping up. If you are watching the replay, thanks for watching the replay too.

Let me just hop on here and so I can see this because this is tough with the lighting. We’re in Indian Wells were just across from the IW Coffee Club into a shopping center. You know they’re rocking and rolling, Andrew, and so many times business succeeds or fails not based on hey do they have the best chef or do they have the best location? But really what is it?

We are Turning to the Digital Age

Well, often a lot of us now are turning to the digital age, the digital version of word of mouth and that is reviews. We are looking at reviews. We’re looking at all sorts of places. Of course, industries have spawned from reviews, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook, Google. All of these places now. It’s a big part of their business is to collect and gather reviews, especially for hospitality. Pretty much any business, but especially the hospitality.

You know, Andrew, I want to say good morning to Eric for joining us, Eric Sol. Thanks for joining us. This morning, I have this google alert on my phone and came out today an industry report from influencer and it talked about how important reviews are to their business. And this is just like hot off the press. I just got this morning before we started. And here’s what’s really cool, is 94% of the people who make a decision on where to eat will do it only after they’ve seen a review. Wow, that’s 94%. So, if you don’t have any reviews on your website or on your Facebook page, or on Yelp or on any of those sites that Andrew just mentioned, you’re kind of digging around in the scraps of that 6% who said, hey, you’re not just hungry and let’s just eat.

They’re Doing It On Your Photos

And so it’s important to say, Hey, I need to get reviews. But you know, here’s something that’s interesting. Andrew. People are not just reviewing you as a restaurant or a business. As a matter of fact, just on the food, they eat and they’re doing it on your photos. Like, are you putting good photos on your website? Are you putting good photos on your Facebook page? Do you have an Instagram page where you have photos that really depict, Hey, what’s your restaurant looks inside? Maybe you’re warm, friendly staff, maybe your, your, signature dish or whatever it might be. If you don’t have that stuff in there, you are either they’re not going to get any or you are going to get photos. This photo is just on the review side itself? No, these are photos on their website or on their Facebook page.

Now granted, if I’m given a review a lot of times, you know, we see people all the time and I’m guilty of it. I’ll take a picture of my meal, then I’ll put it up to Instagram, you know, whatever, or I’ll put it on. I’ll put them on the review sites. It was really good. Yeah, right. Yeah. So I think it’s important to make sure you as the business owner, make sure you are putting photos up there and refreshing them all the time. I know we recommend that for our clients big time. You know, it’s one of the things that I’ve sent to you.

Part 2: Transcript of the Video

Holy smokes, Andrew, just when you think we’re ready to go live, what happens? Surprise! Temperature shutdown. Equipment failure for one of our pieces of equipment went down. So, hey, thanks for staying with us. We’re back. We’re talking about reviews for businesses. So we talked about 94% of the people here in the United States make a decision on where to eat, Andrew based on a review, from the review sites right? Absolutely. Well, here is the thing, it is not just here in the US, it’s all around the world. In fact, the European countries are like 91-93%. The UK has the lowest at 87%. But the point is if you don’t have a good review, not only do people not decide to go there, but if they go there, and if you have a lower review it determines how much they’ll spend for your food.

Really? Yes! So, the higher your review, the more people will tend to spend because they’ve seen more value in what you have. That’s super interesting. So you’re saying to me that if you’ve got lots of five-star reviews, there’s a fair chance that you’re going to get multiple money out of those people? Totally. It’s like, I’m going to call it the Mercedes effect, you know, it’s like, hey, the Mercedes must be more expensive even though it has an engine transmission, just like the Chevrolet, people will spend more for it because it has more value.

Get As Many Good Star Reviews As You Can

That’s interesting. So, if you want to get out there, then get as many good star reviews as you can or as many 5-star reviews as you can. Totally interesting. Okay. What else do you got, you go first? Well, the other thing is we talked about making sure you have photos on your website. Make sure you have photos on your Instagram, your Facebook page that you’re putting photos about your business, your food, your restaurant, maybe even having a photo of maybe happy patrons at your location. People love that stuff. To do that frequently, just don’t do it once and leave it because it will get stale. You’ll tell us about, hey, how does Google respond? Respond to that. If I just don’t one time and never do it again.

Exactly. They’re not gonna like it too much. They want fresh, unique and relevant content. But what we were saying in the previous video before we get sizzled with this information was the fact that a lot of comments, a lot of businesses, especially in restaurants using the user-generated data or content I should say. So what does that mean? They using the photos that the customers are taking of their own food. So let’s say you come to my restaurant and I’ll see you take some photos. I’ll let people know, hey, hashtag restaurant and we’ll use your photo in our and our stuff. Why are you using credit for it? If people taking great photos that they will not use them when you can.

How Mobile-Friendly Is Your Website?

Here’s another thing that has a tremendous influence on a review, Andrew, is how mobile friendly is your website? What sort of response? What sort of influence does that have? Well, here’s the thing. Let’s say for instance, if you look it up and listen, you have a good review, but then I say, hey, I want to make a reservation and you have no way for me to make a reservation from my phone, chances are I’ll probably leave a review which is not real positive and you’ve probably lost your opportunity for me to do that because here’s the thing. I’d hold my phone up right now, but that’s what we’re filming on is about 70%+ of the people now make their decisions to buy your product, make reservations on their phones.

Yep, exactly. So if you don’t have a mobile friendly site and one that will allow them to also make reservations, you are missing the boat. Do you know that on the spot here is that, does that mean if they’ve got a button and I can call them directly or they have to make a specific booking reservation through a system or a platform? Well, quite honestly, 87% of the people. I’m glad you did. The bus wasn’t quite on top of my head when you said that, but 87% of us would rather make that decision without any interaction from a human being. Interesting.

Can you believe that 87 percent of us would say, Hey, I didn’t even want to talk to anybody? You can have my money. I’ll do without any interaction. Interesting. Well, you know I’ll bring someone little point of how important then is automation. I know that’s what we do a lot of in our business. How important is automation for those businesses if that’s the case?


You know what? There are ways out there, and we’ve been doing this for some clients slightly too, is automating the review process. But not only automating just reviews but automating four and five-star review so they get out to the public and the ones in twos and threes, we collect those and get them to the manager so that they can make a decision and respond to those people personally. It’s pretty Ninja trick, but we’ll share that with you one day. So that’s what it’s all about

Automating this stuff so that your customers have an automated followup sequence. So you’re getting as many reviews as you can because if you’re going to rely on the customer to go home and think about it and remember it, and then go to the site and go, where is that companies, Yelp page I’m going to do, that’s not going to happen. No extra time. You need a system put in place so that follows up with your guests every time they leave.

Go Review Your Review Process

Make sure if you, if any of this interests you and you’d like to see what we do as a company, go to On that page, it’ll walk you through exactly on what we do. In fact, you can even do a little test demo of exactly what Andrew has talked about, all this automation. And you know what, after the show, because the other one went down, I’ll make sure to put that also in the comment section of the link for that. Absolutely. That’s about it. So here’s the deal for the day. Go review your review process. Will it hold water? Do you have pictures? Is it a mobile-friendly site? Do you have the ability to just want to have the ability to make a reservation with that you enter in a phone or getting interacted with them via their mobile phone?

If the answer is no, you have a tremendous opportunity to make an impact, so go do your reviews. I’m Jeff Harrison and I’m Andrew McCauley. You’ve been watching reviews. We’ll see you again tomorrow. Somewhere between 8:30 and 10. With a truck in the background. That’s right. There is that truck. Thanks for joining us.

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