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Today’s restaurant diners can easily become food critics. They’ll talk about it online – on sites like Yelp, Google, and TripAdvisor – if they have a poor experience at the place where they ate.

If you’re a restaurateur, it’s therefore critical that you play a more active role in managing restaurant reviews of your business and minimizing the impact that negative customer opinion might have. One way of doing this is by encouraging happy customers to leave positive reviews and kind words – through features like ReviewTrackers’ Review Request service.

Sometimes, though, it’s not easy to get the E-mail addresses of the people you’d like to reach out to. That’s why the savviest restaurant managers and owners come up with creative ways to obtain contact information. Check out these neat restaurant marketing tips!

Make use of comment cards 

The easiest way for your restaurant staff to collect E-mail addresses is by utilizing comment cards that are given to customers at the end of the meal, along with the check. Not only do comment cards give you valuable information and feedback on the customer’s dining experience; they also enable you to collect contact information needed to send out your review requests and E-mail newsletters.

Make a competition out of it 

One of the best ways to make comment cards really successful is by running a contest and challenging your waiting staff and servers to push for more guests to fill these cards out. You can award, say, $100 to the staff who gets the most comment cards with E-mail addresses at the end of each month. This is also a terrific way to improve employee engagement!

Train your host or hostess 

You know the host or hostess you’ve assigned at the door to coordinate seating arrangements for diners on the waitlist? Assign him or her the task of collecting E-mail addresses during busy times. This can be a very effective method, but sometimes customers might feel uneasy about being asked for contact information. So make sure the customer has an “out,” so to speak, when they’re asked. Something like “Would you like to be added to our E-mail newsletter list?” allows them to choose whether or not they want to share their E-mail address.

Incentivize the E-mail address request 

You can invite diners to sign up for your E-mail list so they can receive discounts or free meals on a special occasion of their choice. Remember to have a space on your form for the date of their special occasion: anniversary, birthday, what-have-you.

For additional ideas on how to generate positive reviews, check out our previous posts:

Migs Bassig

Migs is the Content Manager for ReviewTrackers. He's a creative writer who has helped numerous companies communicate more effectively online, and he loves sharing his local marketing knowledge to help brands and business succeed.


  1. Creative Marketer

    I honestly believe that the last option is the most effective and also comment cards. I worked as a teacher and we also had something similar after class.

    • Richard Pascal

      Yes, the offer of free meal is most effective, but it’s also a bribing method.

  2. Mark Mead

    Making competition from annoying guests with some silly cards? I don’t think that is a good idea. If a guest wants to leave a review, he or she would leave the review without your meddling.