Your Yelp page will make or break your business. It's usually the first place a potential customer will go, even before your website, so it's important that it's all buttoned up. The restaurant scene is already competitive, so don't let your Yelp page, something you can (mostly!) control, be the reason customers eat down the street.
Make sure you have all of your restaurant's information listed, including hours, the phone number, and address. It's über convenient for customers that are already on your Yelp page looking at reviews. When they decide they want to try your restaurant, they'll love that the phone number and address is listed right there so they can skip the extra step of Googling it.
Especially for restaurants, your Yelp page should accurately portray your joint's atmosphere, look, and of course, it's food. These days, your iPhone can take some pretty amazing pictures. If you aren't confident in your photography skills, you can hire a photographer for an hour to take some snaps of your best dishes. As a bonus, you can re-purpose the professional photos on your social media.
It's that simple! A 2013 study found that people who had a negative experience with a company are 50 percent more likely to talk about it on social media than people who had a good experience. By making it known you welcome Yelp reviews, more of those satisfied customers will take the time to make one. You can request reviews through your social media accounts, have your servers mention it at the table, or if you don't mind having a decal on your front window, you can request a "Find us on Yelp!" window cling from the Yelp website.
Whether the review is good or bad, it always makes a restaurant more human when it responds. It's important to never sound defensive or angry when responding to a bad review. Take it as a chance to win their business back! Make it personal and not generic so they know you read their comments and took the time to respond to them. When you come across an awesome review, feature some quotes on your website or social media and cite the reviewers name. It's ok to show off a little!
Good luck, and may the reviews be ever in your favor.
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