Posted on: January 29, 2015 by titan-goodrich
For years the food service industry has been discussing the effects of online review platforms such as Yelp and UrbanSpoon. These social media review sites allow consumers to share input and insight into their experiences at a local eatery and rate these establishments based on a number of criterion including, quality, service and price. Over the years such sites have gained loyal followings of passive users and active reviewers, but they have also attracted critique and animosity from businesses that find themselves hurt by dyspeptic reviews.
This is because many York County eateries, especially small locally owned ones, have felt significant impacts on their clientele and business. According to a Harvard Business School study, each ratings star added on a Yelp restaurant review can have anywhere from a 5 percent to 9 percent effect on the restaurant’s revenues. Independent restaurants often see more frequent and dramatic impacts from reviews on whole, while chain restaurants are relatively unaffected by the ratings.
A recent survey by SEO optimization firm BrightLocal indicates that over 85 percent of consumers consult online reviews before making purchasing decisions. According to that same study, nearly 80 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much or more than personal recommendations. Furthermore 67 percent of consumers read between two and six reviews before forming their own opinion about the company, restaurant or organization at hand. Nearly three out of four consumers indicate that positive reviews of an establishment will make them trust that business more or willing to test the business on their own.
While the impacts of these review sites are clear, the question remains are these consumer generated ratings and reviews actually reliable insight into the quality of an establishment. Some critics of the sites argue that these type of public review forums allow for a sounding board for opinionated and untrained individuals to voice their support or condemn of an eatery based on their often singular interaction with the operation. They also argue that most consumers will not go through the trouble of writing a review for an average meal, and therefore these online reviews will represent the two extremes, either highly positive or very negative experiences. As such, an eater’s reputation can be strongly shaped by the online reviews they receive so it is important to monitor your online reviews and respond to negative feedback in a constructive manner.
When it comes to protecting your Virginia restaurant, there are countless risk and loss exposures to account for. At Goodrich Watson, we understand the countless risk exposures York County’s food service industry faces. That’s why our business insurance professionals proudly specialize in helping York County restaurants navigate all their risks and loss exposures. We can help craft a comprehensive VA restaurant insurance program customized to fit the unique and specific needs of your eatery. Give our VA restaurant insurance specialist a call today at (888) 829-5004 , to learn more about the best risk management solutions for you.