How to Increase Your Restaurant Brand’s Sales Through Yelp
When deciding where to eat, potential customers consistently turn to platforms like Yelp to help them decide. As a multi-location restaurant, it can be challenging to differentiate yourself from the competition, but this blog can help! We’ll go through five different tactics your restaurant brand can leverage to strengthen local Yelp pages and ultimately win more diners.
1. Claim and Update Local Yelp Pages
First and foremost, if your restaurant brand doesn’t already have local pages claimed on Yelp, that’s a critical place to start. Each of your restaurant locations should have an individual Yelp page. Once your Yelp page is claimed, your restaurant will then be able to provide local business information such as hours of operation, contact information, business address, and other critical information. As a restaurant brand, it’s crucial to ensure this information is updated and accurate at all times. Consumers need to know they can trust your restaurant brand, and detailed listings are necessary.
While claiming and updating your basic business information on Yelp is necessary, Yelp also provides opportunities for you to include additional information about your restaurant brand. For instance, adding a link to your menu is a smart move so customers can get an idea of what kind of food your restaurant serves and the prices that go along with it. Similarly, your restaurant brand can indicate what type of payments you accept, if customers order at a counter or have wait staff, and other essential details that potential customers might like to know ahead of time. The image below is a great example of a company that claimed their local Yelp pages, included crucial business information as well as additional information like their menu. Setting realistic expectations beforehand is a great way to keep customers happy and maintain a positive reputation, which we’ll get into later in this blog.
2. Showcase What Differentiates Your Restaurant From the Competition
Once you have your local Yelp pages claimed, you can then optimize them to highlight what your restaurant has to offer. For instance, showcasing top-performing menu items, ongoing specials, or other things that differentiate your business from the competition. Does your restaurant brand partner with the local homeless shelter to provide meals once a month? Is your restaurant focused on farm-to-table food options? Anything that makes your restaurant brand stand out should be featured on your local Yelp pages. For instance, in the image below Nekter Juice Bar shares their unique story of how the company was founded, while also noting that the company only uses whole ingredients.
Often, potential customers look through numerous Yelp profiles before choosing where to dine. What will make your restaurant stand out? Yelp also provides a ‘Meet the Manager/Owner” section where your restaurant brand can share stories about why your restaurant brand opened in a specific location or why the manager has a passion for the restaurant industry. Being creative on Yelp is vital!
3. Include High-Quality Local Imagery
Another way to get your restaurant’s local Yelp pages to stand out is through imagery. On Yelp, you can add photos of your restaurant so consumers know what to expect. When deciding which photos to use, your business should consider including:
- Photos of the outside and inside of the local restaurant
- Images of top-performing meals
- Pictures of local staff, if available
- Images of people enjoying meals at your restaurant
The more high-quality images your restaurant brand includes on Yelp, the more consumers will know what to expect when visiting your restaurant. Similarly, if potential customers see photos of people enjoying the restaurant, they will be able to picture themselves dining there and be more likely to visit, as seen in the image below.
4. Don’t Forget About CTAs
Including a call to action (CTA) on your local Yelp profiles is necessary. Does your restaurant take reservations or have an online waitlist? Can customers order food online for take-out or delivery? If so, these are worth adding to your Yelp profile through the use of a CTA. The more a customer can get done by visiting your restaurant’s Yelp profile alone, the better. Consumers crave convenience, and if they’re able to make a reservation through your Yelp profile or order food directly, the more likely they’ll do so.
5. Ratings and Reviews Are a Must
Finally, it might seem obvious, but ratings and reviews on Yelp are non-negotiable. More than half of consumers have passed up a business due to their local ratings and reviews. If your restaurant brand doesn’t have a solid online reputation, think of all the sales you could be missing. While your restaurant brand likely understands the importance of ratings and reviews, how many reviews do you need? What average star rating should local restaurants strive for? Our Top Restaurant Brands in Localized Marketing Report provides some answers.
The report looked at top restaurant brands in local search and local social, and determined benchmarks for various efforts. The report found that restaurant brands had an average star rating of 2.5 and only responded to six percent of reviews received for Yelp. This is a vast area of opportunity for your restaurant brand to exceed these averages. Your restaurant brand should strive to respond to as many reviews as possible in a timely and personalized manner. Eighty-seven percent of consumers are willing to change a negative review, depending on how the business responds. If your restaurant brand is prioritizing responding to reviews, it will also help your overall star ratings.
Now that your restaurant brand understands what it takes to level up its Yelp strategy, it’s time to get started. Don’t let concerns about managing your local Yelp profiles across 100s or 1,000s of business locations stop you from finding success. SOCi is here to help. For instance, SOCi Listings is partnered with Yelp and other major directories and allows your restaurant brand to manage your business listings at scale and effectively optimize your online presence and local search rankings. From syncing, updating, and managing your local listings to custom audits and profile recommendations to the flexibility for local managers to make their updates with corporate oversight, SOCi Listings covers every step of the process to propel your listings to the top of search results.
While listings are one piece of the puzzle, SOCi’s streamlined reputation management software is here to help as well. Through SOCi, users can view every action taken on reviews and monitor every activity on social media. Now, your local, regional, and corporate teams will always know which reviews and social engagements are addressed and which ones still require attention to ensure the prompt responses consumers expect.
There’s no longer an excuse for your restaurant brand not to optimize its Yelp profiles and ultimately win more sales. Request a demo today for more insight into how SOCi can help your restaurant brand crush the competition and dominate its online presence!