The Two Types of Reviews Your Restaurant / Cafe Needs

The Two Types of Reviews Your Restaurant / Cafe Needs

Sometimes it seems a little overwhelming to get on top and monitor the reviews for your restaurant or cafe. It’s a given that is not likely to go away but wouldn’t it be nice to be able to have more control over what potential patrons may see?

Thankfully there is a way.

Google ranks first-party reviews even more prominently than third-party reviews.

What does this mean?

A Third-party review is a review left on Google, Yelp, Trip Advisor etc. These reviews you do not own. A First-party review is a review on your website – which you do own.

It’s time to start publishing customer testimonials to your website. Testimonials they send to you. Do not copy reviews from other review sites.

First, you need to get the testimonials.

Then get them into a format that Search Engines understand and look for.

Google Search

All you need to do is get your customer to complete the form.

There are several ways to do this:

  1. Have them complete a VIP form so you can send them a follow-up email.
  2. If you have free WIFI and using PoweredLocal then present them the feedback page after they check-in or send them an email an hour or so later. The wonders of marketing automation!

Why should you bother with reviews? According to Jay Baer from Convince & Convert, and author of Hug Your Haters “we are using reviews as a shortcut to fix our choice induced paralysis. 90% of consumers say their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews!” 5:22

So it stands to reason you should be caring about online reviews. If you knew of an advantage to get your reviews listed in search engines before the big review sites and your competitors – wouldn’t you want that unfair advantage?

To make this work for you: 

  1. Ask for a review from every client
  2. Add those reviews to your website
  3. Do both frequently

“73% of consumers say reviews older than 90 days are irrelevant.” 26:00

Keys to Getting More Reviews

  1. Ask at the right time. Mentioned above, send them an email later.
  2. Make sure no strings are attached. It cheapens the review
  3. Make it personal. Have the owner of the restaurant or the person who served them send the email. Of course, this can be automated. Be sure to create multiple templates so frequent diners don’t see the same email.
  4. Follow up and thank them. If you need to fix it – do so and follow up again with the change.

With a MerlinFX website, every reviewer does get an auto-response email but be sure to follow up personally a few days later.

We take it a bit further and rather than a thank you message. The reviewer is sent to a proper Thank you page. It is on this page you can point out special offers, upcoming events to even a sneak preview of a new seasonal menu or invite them to a VIP night. It’s entirely up to you how you want to add the WOW value to your customers.

It’s easy to go beyond!

Learn from the webinar

  1. Why reviews are important to consumer-buying psychology
  2. The key differences between brand and location-based reviews
  3. How to handle first-party and third-party reviews
  4. The best ways to encourage more customers to leave reviews
  5. How to cover more SEO bases easily by balancing reviews

Watch Webinar

Both types of reviews are increasingly critical because they give consumers information shortcuts to making buying decisions in a crowded, noisy, competitive landscape.


The 2 Types of Reviews and Why Your Business Needs Both | Convince & Convert


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Daniel Doherty

I am the founder of MerlinFX. The reason I get out of bed every day is that I love helping businesses achieve their outcomes. I do this through websites, coaching, consulting and training videos for our web client portal. My aim is to create Online Wizards.

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