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Marketing Your Restaurant: Asking Customers for Positive Reviews

There are several social media review networks and apps where people leave reviews about their favorite (and not-so-favorite) restaurants, businesses, doctors’ offices, and retail clothing stores. Sites like Yelp, Foursquare, UrbanSpoon, FoodSpotting, and OpenTable all encourage users to leave comments and reviews of the restaurants.

Back before we had social media, people would frequently complain when they were unhappy, but rarely give public compliments. These days, people are more willing to share when they’re pleased, and are more likely to leave positive reviews.

Restaurant owners can help encourage these reviews, and using them to their marketing advantage, by trying these quick tips:

  • Remind people to check in on Foursquare, and ask them to leave a tip about
    their favorite appetizer. If you have a free wifi network, name it [RESTAURANT NAME]
    _dont_forget_foursquare.
  • Hold a weekly or monthly contest where people send their Foursquare checkin as a tweet with a
    #hashtag with your restaurant name.
  • Leave a tablet tent that says “Love us? Hate us? Leave a Yelp comment” and a QR code that
    takes people right to your Yelp page.

That last tactic is a bit of a calculated risk, because you’re showing people the exact path they need to take to complain too. But if your staff is on their game, this won’t be a problem. And if people do complain, we’ll tell you how to fix the problem tomorrow.


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