Yext is Driving Restaurant Discovery and Online Orders

Yext is Driving Restaurant Discovery and Online Orders

It’s no secret we live in a very competitive restaurant environment.

Not only do we have more cuisine options, but we have more brick-and-mortars that offer different atmospheres and experiences than ever before.

There’s also the increasing shift towards online ordering and food delivery by consumers with a fast-paced lifestyle who are looking for convenience and speed.

Needless to say, restaurant visits have been declining year over year and it’s more important than ever to capitalize on the few opportunities available to amp foot traffic to your restaurants.

So how can restaurants maximize visibility in such a saturated environment?

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Yelp Attack: Using Digital Jabs to Get Better

Yelp Attack: Using Digital Jabs to Get Better

By Jim Berman, Foodable Industry Expert

Social media is free, but the expense is dear. Yelp is a costly tool that will kick the hell out of your business and at the same time, like a well-honed social media program, be a relevant asset. 

Not negotiating with Yelpers isn’t a quizzical strategy. Getting into it over somebody’s “table too close to the kitchen” tête-à-tête isn’t worth your time. Instead, capturing what others are saying is good business sense, especially when the feedback is grounded in a modicum of reality.

A 360-degree review is an honest look at all angles. There is a reason why businesses up and down the foodchain use similar a strategy to examine the performance of their top brass, for instance, by folding in the views of customers, subordinates, suppliers, and leaders. The idea is to get a grade based on honest dialogue from all vested parties. Shouldn't the same be true for our customers’ experiences? 

If somebody has a legitimate beef about slapdash service or a cold order of mahi-mahi tacos, we need to hear about it. What used to be a comment card — hardly ever used — or a “can I talk to the manager?” moment now precipitates useful feedback at the speed of two fingers and a good digital connection. Good or bad. Customers have a nasty/noble habit of being honest. Harness that honesty to get better. Didn’t Per Se just get skewered by the New York Times? Didn’t Thomas Keller take that spanking to admit that all wasn’t right on the haute cuisine front? Pressing the reset button can be a shockingly painful but necessary stab in the spleen. 

 

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Has the Influence of Yelp on Consumers Finally Come to an End?

Has the Influence of Yelp on Consumers Finally Come to an End?

By Kaitlin Ohlinger, Foodable Contributor

Imagine a place where you could go to read honest, educated opinions about an establishment. A place where you could be regaled with details of real experiences that weren’t fluffed up by a fat public relations budget. A place where if you suddenly found yourself with an 18-hour layover in an unfamiliar city, you could call upon fellow food-lovers to guide you to an unexpected culinary paradise. Doesn’t this sound amazing? Certainly all things are possible on the internet, right? 

This dreamy scenario could have been what Yelp’s founders, two former PayPal employees, had in mind when they started Yelp in 2004. But by 2010, Yelp had ballooned to approximately $30 million in revenues, yet also had several class-action lawsuits on its hands. Apparently this “real people, real reviews” site wasn’t getting rave reviews from those being reviewed. Now, five years later, restaurant owners regularly plot revenge against the site and the backlash has even soared all the way up to an episode of South Park. 

The owners of Portland’s Burrasca sum up the Yelp experiment: “The original idea of Yelp was ostensibly not a bad one: a forum for public opinion that would help folks make informed choices about local restaurants. But I think that as Yelp has matured, it has become too often a platform for negativity and hatefulness.” 

Is it possible Yelp is in the throes of death?

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Apps to Watch: Grate - Redefining the Consumer Restaurant Review

Apps to Watch: Grate - Redefining the Consumer Restaurant Review

By Allison Levine, Foodable Contributor

Service in a restaurant can make or break a diner’s experience. As a diner, how do customers let the server know how they feel? Perhaps a generous tip of 30 percent tells the server they did a very good job. But, does a tip of 10-15 percent say there was a problem? And does management find out that service was exceptional or terrible? Management will most likely find out if service was lacking when a negative review is left online for all of the public to see. But, besides the detrimental effects that review may have on a restaurant, has management been provided any tools about where they can improve in order to not repeat the same issues over and over?

San Francisco-based company Grate has created an App that offers a solution for customers to provide constructive criticism in a discreet and anonymous way. Grate is an iphone app (it is not yet available for Droid) that helps restaurants get information about their servers. Customers can discreetly and privately rate their servers and send comments. In return, management is able to better manage their service staff.

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What is the Financial Impact of Restaurant Review Sites?

What is the Financial Impact of Restaurant Review Sites?

By Joe Welsh, Foodable Industry Expert

Over the past few years, many restaurant owners I have met with have been very skeptical of review sites, such as Yelp, Foursquare, and TripAdvisor. They contended that the reviews are false, misleading or competitors just writing bad reviews about them. In some cases, they claim that Yelp was misleading in its representation of reviews.

Recently though, I’ve seen a shift in how operators feel about review sites. They have faced reality and accept the fact that it really doesn’t matter what they think. Consumers can visit as many review sites as they wish and will form their own opinion. If the majority of the reviews are positive, that will create its own impression and the consumer will make a decision. If they are negative, well we know what happens then.

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