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online reputation management

Prime restaurant real estate can be pricey, and in some locales, such as New York City and its suburbs, the possibility of expanding proves to be price-prohibitive for small restaurant owners trying to grow revenue and build a positive reputation for their businesses.

Thinking outside the box, particularly the pizza box about to be delivered to a hungry patron, is perhaps the best way to grow business without having to incur the expenses and risks associated with expansion.

Entering the delivery business can help small restaurants increase the volume of sales without having to make changes to their physical facilities or add numerous front-end employees that may or may not be utilized 100 percent. Delivery, if well managed, opens many doors for growth, allowing restaurateurs to maximize the utilization of every square foot and optimize human resources to increase revenues, particularly during low-traffic hours.

One of our favorite platforms to help small restaurants enter the delivery business and reach a wider audience is Eat24. Eat24 is a well-positioned website that aggregates restaurants that offer delivery service and provides diners with a user-friendly shopper experience that helps them discover new restaurants based on their personal gastronomical preferences. The website allows customers to place their orders online, and it maintains a profile with their personal information and dining preferences that streamlines the way they engage with restaurants and reduces the hassles associated with calling to order delivery, such as language barrier, waiting on hold, or errors in communication when placing the order.

(Check out: “Requesting Online Reviews but Having Trouble Collecting E-mail Addresses? Here are 4 Secrets Restaurateurs Use”)

In addition, Eat24 features Yelp reviews to help diners make better decisions about their restaurant choices. Based on our observations of reviewer behavior and engagement, we believe Eat24 has significant potential to help restaurants grow in revenue as well as overall profitability. Here is the why and how:

Eat24 Delivery System Decreases Your Error Rate

One of the most common complaints associated with restaurant deliveries relates to the accuracy of orders. Challenges such as poor communication, language barriers, background noise, lack of proper training, or lack of clarity in conveying an order frequently results in dissatisfaction, which is normally voiced via reviews.

Because Eat24 captures the whole order online and maintains a customer card with information such as address and credit card number, the possibility of transactional errors is greatly diminished. By improving the accuracy of delivery orders, restaurants begin to see an increase in overall scores and positive remarks on review platforms associated with the delivery experience.

In addition to improved customer satisfaction due to order accuracy, the restaurants also save money by not having to take corrective action on customer escalations related to their food-delivery orders.

Eat24 Increases Your Business Volume

When it comes to growing a restaurant, the size of the facility may feel like a barrier in growing the number of covers a restaurant can handle per hour. One easy way to overcome this challenge is by focusing marketing resources on the delivery segment. Even if every table in your restaurant is full, you will still be able to handle more orders, and you will reduce the wait time of diners by redirecting some of your loyal customers to the delivery experience instead of dining in.

Eat24 can point significant business volume your way purely in the delivery category and increase the number of diners reviewing your venue who have had an overall positive experience, without a significant wait for a table or an inaccurate delivery order. More happy diners ensures more happy reviews. 

Eat24 Rewards Loyalty, Triggering Relational Reviews

Eat24 offers its members an additional layer of rewards beyond anything your restaurant might offer. Its CashCoupon program rewards its members across all participant restaurants, furthering the perception of value from its users and fostering increased loyalty.

When customers feel appreciated and have incentives to engage with dining venues, restaurants benefit with increased business as well as the feel-good factor that diners receive from getting added value for their dollar. This type of structure increases the likelihood of diners writing positive reviews, as their overall perception of value is boosted by virtue of the rewards program.

In addition to CashCoupons for repeat business, Eat24 allows restaurateurs to promote special offers via their profiles. When managed properly, a special offer can help restaurants overcome periods of low traffic by creating offer parameters that boost engagement during the weaker sales periods.

Eat24 Provides Diners with a Streamlined Experience Across Restaurants

Everyone operates better in environments that are familiar. By having an interface that looks and feels the same across all restaurants, Eat24 improves conversion by removing barriers between the customers and their orders. A barrier-free ordering experience is the first step toward an excellent customer experience, and one less opportunity to drop the ball.

Because customers using Eat24 use Yelp reviews as a tool to determine their dining choices, the likelihood of engagement as a reviewer increases tremendously. Also, Eat24 members are given the opportunity to leave “notes” related to a restaurant or dining experience. A note is similar to a review but slightly shorter, and it may or may not include an image. Notes are particularly useful as reinforcement to a good Yelp overall score.

If you are a small restaurant looking for smart ways to increase your revenue without high-entry costs or risky moves, then Eat24 may just be the right marketing platform for you. As a leading delivery and take-out website connected directly through Yelp, Urbanspoon, and PayPal, this website is a game-changer for small restaurants.

Eat24 is not free to restaurants, but for some smaller businesses the investment associated with this move is far less than a facility expansion or the long-term costs of a bad reputation resulting from less-than-stellar reviews from customers who have had a bumpy delivery experience due to any of the factors discussed above. On a final note, it is important to remember that delivery services tend to have higher conversion and market penetration in highly urban markets, making it a better and more viable tool for restaurants located in large cities.

(Image credit: Eat24)

Kevin Kent

Kevin is the Director of Finance and Operations at ReviewTrackers. Every day he finds creative ways to solve business owners' problems and identifies key issues to help them achieve top results.