Yelp & Urban Spoon Comments

Guest Experience Staff Training

I’m researching a study of the restaurant industry, using Yelp and Urban Spoon as the main viewframe. While I’ve written in the past about how operators could use these two sites to their advantage, I feel compelled to share a different observation tonight.

Does your team need a refresher on what makes great experience for customers? I bet if you spent one hour with an all-staff meeting, asked them to all bring their laptops in for the meeting, then gave each staff member ten restaurants in Urban Spoon’s “Affordable Fine Dining” Category to view – that you’d have one hell of a good meeting discussion.

The trick to this is having your staff read the comments of these ten restaurants, then share the outstandingly good and bad comments with the team as a whole and then to look at yours.

Not only is this good training on excellent guest experience, it will give your staff the direct feedback of the dining public in your area; what they think about you, about your competition and what their expectations are of a good or great experience.

I promise you, it will be an eye-opener for your team.

The other thing it will do (bonus) is provide your staff with real-time competitive analysis of the other teams that they are directly competing with in your area. What a great way to bring your team even more together towards a common goal!

By the way, it’s so easy for operators to get their basic information on these sites. I am completely clueless as to why any operator would stuff these two sites with pictures, the menu, etc.

Also, it’s extremely rare to find an operator responding to the negative comments (much less the positive ones) on these sites. How much time a night does that take – to look for a comment from the night? Thirty seconds? And then to write a reply? Another five minutes to increase guest loyalty so they’ll tell all their friends about your place?

Yelp and Urban Spoon should be the most basic of social web management for a restaurant. An operator should visit them daily – that would take maybe two minutes, tops.

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One Comment to “Yelp & Urban Spoon Comments”

  1. I really wish we didn’t have to acknowledge a shady bunch of extortionists like Yelp but its absolutely necessary in today’s restaurant business. Its important to monitor them but don’t give them a dime!

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