How to Capitalize on Online Restaurant Reviews and Engage

May 5, 2023
Barbara Castiglia

Online restaurant reviews: restaurants may love or hate them, but they should not ignore the practice. To do so means operating at one’s peril. Sifting through the noise to gain meaningful insights from reviews left online is integral to the restaurant industry and can lead to success if measured and responded to correctly.
Chatmeter, a restaurant brand solutions provider, conducted a recent survey of restaurant customers, all of whom used online reviews in their decision-making process, and there were some interesting results.

• 89% of respondents use online reviews to evaluate the quality

• 56% feel reviews must have been posted in the past month to be considered relevant

• 25% want to see more than 20 reviews in the last two months to build trust

• 39% like the idea of using technology like AI and ChatGPT for review information

Finding ways to capitalize on online restaurant reviews to better engage with guests is essential to bolster a restaurant brand. Host Barbara Castiglia explored this topic in greater detail on The Main Course with her guest, Cynthia Sener, President of Go To Market for Chatmeter. In her role, Sener knows how online reviews can impact restaurants.

“Chatmeter started on this early on, and then as things have adapted with mobile devices and with all sorts of other methodologies of where people leave reviews,” Sener said. “People are now leaving reviews in the metaverse. Before, they were doing things in a much more organic way, or Yelp, and eventually Google, Facebook, and other areas. We’ve seen that continuous evolution. We’ve been specifically focusing on the
restaurant industry, their sentiments, the key phrases and terminologies, and things related to different restaurants to ensure we could help businesses understand how they’re doing.”

Castiglia and Sener’s conversation includes the following:

• Making sense of online review data to gain the most valued insights

• Evolving guest needs and how to focus on what’s important

• The recent Chatmeter survey and how restaurants can use those results for better customer engagement

“We wanted to understand the trends, the behaviors, and the way they are looking to engage with a restaurant so that restaurant leaders can think ahead,” Sener said. “And so, they are looking for these opportunities to have a two-way dialogue.”

About Cynthia
Cynthia Sener is a professionally recognized, driven product and marketing strategist with a strong passion for sales and overall results. Sener designs product offerings that build overall customer value and drive incremental revenue. She creates marketing campaigns that drive demand and leads teams toward an organization’s growth plans from various perspectives. Sener thrives in a company’s start-up to mid-level phases and is known for digging in to get the job done. Sener is a two-time recipient of the “Whatever it Takes” Award. Sener holds an MBA in Executive Management from the University of California, Irvine.

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