Will Social Media Ruin Your Restaurant This Christmas?

Instead of Christmas being a frenetic boom time for restaurants, the explosion of social media sites like Facebook and Trip Advisor could turn it into a disaster!

It’s reported that 95% of diners consult social media reviews before choosing a restaurant.

In the past you would have gotten away with mistakes and slip ups resulting from the extra demands on your staff, but today it’s a whole different matter. Photos are uploaded to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter whilst the food is still hot on the table.

Angry or disappointed customers no longer seek out the manager they simply open up an app and trash your reputation instantly to millions of potential customers. So what can you do?

Here Are Five Steps To Ensure Your Business and Reputation Shines This Christmas!

  1. Wise up!  This stuff is not going away and it is becoming more and more essential that you take control of your reputation on-line. If not, you will lose business and income because people will be put off from dining at your restaurant without ever coming near the place.
  2. Recruit Now!  Please, please don’t be tight with your staffing budget right now. I know it’s a great time to make back what you’ve lost in the year but if you are under staffed for the increased volume it will be reported on line that you have BAD customer service!
  3. Be Pro-Social Media. Realise that people are submitting photos and comments on-line. So make sure that you help them to do so positively. Your staff need to be aware of photo opportunities, ask if they can take group shots for people who are doing “selfies”. Be engaging and helpful with diners; the biggest complaint they have is that the staff were unhelpful or miserable.
  4. Nip issues in the bud. If there is an issue, be accepting, understanding and generous. Do not try to win the battle – YOU WILL LOSE THE WAR! Disgruntled or disappointed customers will take their experience on-line and you won’t get a right to reply there. Remember 99.99% of people don’t want to be an ass, they actually want a good time! They complain for, what they feel are genuine reasons. You must handle issues well and make them happy!
  5. Train Your Staff about Reputation Management. Essentially this is what this article is about, managing (and improving) what people see and hear about your restaurant on their smart phone, iPad, computer and web browser. Make sure your staff understand the impact that inattention, sloppiness or less-than-great service will have on your business.

If you ignore this issue it will come back to bite you in the backside!

Whether you realise it or not your restaurant s probably already rated and reviewed on around 10 different review sites around Australia and the World. To say nothing of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+.

I guarantee that you do not have the time to monitor all of those sites and media daily, let alone go back to the disgruntled “reviewers” and do anything about it. What you can do is this; make sure that you are proactive now.

Follow the five steps suggested above and do everything you can to make sure that you have a great on-line (and offline) reputation in 2014 when you will need it. The alternative is wondering why the customers have stopped coming in and then having to dig yourself out of a deep hole because you and your staff failed to please over the Christmas period.