Here’s how HotOperator helped a restaurant client go from 3.1 Stars to 4.2 Stars on Yelp in less than 2 weeks in their restaurant
And why that’s important for any independent restaurant to work on social media.
According to a Harvard Business School study by Michael Luca, a single star increase on Yelp can grow your restaurant sales by 5 to 9%. This is especially important for independent and regional chain restaurants. In fact, this same study found that social media reviews had little or no effect on national chain restaurants at all. This is because everyone already knows what to expect from a chain restaurant.
Chain Restaurants Are Not Like Independent Restaurants
But for independent restaurants and regional chains, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook and Google Business reviews are really, really important. And it’s not just the review that counts with consumers. But how you respond to comments and reviews has an impact on how likely a consumer is to recommend your restaurant. According to Forbes, restaurants that respond to a customer on social media get an advantage with customers. In a survey, 71% of customers say they are more likely to recommend a company that responds quickly to them on social media.
Here’s How HotOperator Helped A Client Increase Their Google Reviews From 3.1 Stars to 4.2 Stars In Less Than 2 Weeks
HotOperator helped launch The Land Run in Enid Oklahoma. It’s a steak restaurant, a little upscale that sells a really good product. Sadly, the community is stressed for discretionary income to spend at a restaurant, so the reviews are critical for them. In a community of less than 50,000 people, you just don’t have enough potential customers to have a bad review and survive.
The Land Run reviews on Google were hovering just over 3 stars, and sales at the restaurant were starting to suffer. The owners of the restaurant came to HotOperator for advice on how to get the business to improve. After looking over reviews on Yelp, Google and TripAdvisor, our recommendation was to get their servers to ‘Check In’ on social media when they were at work, and to get their servers to ask for a review on social media.
Our recommendation included paying the servers a bonus for each positive review they were able to get if they were mentioned in the review. We ran the server promotion for just over two weeks.
The Results Are In
The results are really astounding. The Land Run went from 3.2 stars on Google Business to 4.1 Stars during the promotion. So for this $1.5M restaurant, the dollar a day we gave the servers to check in, and the extra buck we put into their pockets for each review resulted in a $70,000 to $90,000 increase in sales.
According to The Land Run, they have seen the results first hand with strengthening sales and happier customers. And the staff loved the promotion because they got to see their name in reviews on Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor and Facebook, and a little extra money at the end of each shift.
Mark and Kelly are a design-engineer team and managing partners of HotOperator. They have been working in the restaurant business since 1989. Either can be contacted through the HotOperator website, or by calling 800-316-3198.