Restaurant and foodservice industry professionals will be the first to say that we live in a kind of Yelp age: a time when diners can quickly become online critics, and what they have to say can potentially make or break a business.
- According to ReviewTrackers research, 33 percent of diners would not choose a restaurant with a rating of less than 4 stars out of 5 on community-based review platforms like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Facebook.
- Harvard Business School researcher Michael Luca, meanwhile, discovered that a one-star improvement in a restaurant’s Yelp rating could lead to a 9 percent increase in revenue, while Cone Communications revealed that 4 in 5 consumers reversed purchase decisions after reading negative reviews.
- A University of Maryland study also showed that reviews posted on Yelp could be analyzed to predict if and when a restaurant might shut down.
It’s no surprise that industry executives are now focusing on ways to more effectively manage their reviews and customer feedback. Restaurant-goers are heavily influenced by opinions and experiences shared by other diners, so businesses must tune in and join the conversation in order to stay competitive.
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Case study: Gibsons Restaurant Group
The world-famous Gibsons Restaurant Group is a company that understands the crucial role that customer feedback plays in driving the success of a restaurant operation.
Having originally opened as Gibsons Steakhouse in Chicago in 1989, the group has grown to include multiple restaurant concepts in Illinois, including Hugo’s Frog Bar and Fish House in Chicago and Naperville, Hugo’s Frog Bar and Chop House in Rosemont, Quartino Italian Wine Bar, LUXBAR, the Montgomery Club, the Polo Bar, RL Restaurant, ChiSox Bar and Grill, and Gibsons Bar and Steakhouse (which has locations in Oakbrook and Rosemont in addition to the original one in Chicago).
Gibsons prides itself in having an unwavering customer service philosophy, which was reinforced as a hallmark quality of the company when it implemented a customer feedback strategy suited to today’s Yelp age.
In this case study, we explore in detail how Gibsons is:
- Efficiently managing online reviews and ratings of its multiple restaurant locations across all major review sites and feedback channels;
- Simplifying collaboration and workflow management among Gibsons’ restaurant managers and stakeholders;
- Leveraging technology and data to create structured opportunities for engagement with restaurant customers;
- Using data to extract customer insights, improve the customer experience, and generate more feedback; and
- Measuring the ROI of its review and reputation management efforts.