Best Practices for Replying to Reviews

More than half of 18- to 34-year-olds take online reviews into consideration when making a dining decision. And on Grubhub, diners who read reviews are 1.5 times more likely to order than those who haven’t.

Ready to increase the number of customers ordering from your restaurant? Use these best practices to encourage positive reviews and reduce the impact of negative online comments.

General Tips

  • Be prompt. More than 80% of consumers believe getting their issue resolved quickly is the most important part of a great customer service experience. Grubhub enables you to respond to reviews within 7 days after a customer reviews your restaurant.
  • Use proper grammar and spelling. Avoid offensive words and cap locks to ensure the diner understands your response and walks away with a positive experience.
  • Be specific. Including details from the customer’s review shows you’re taking their review seriously.
  • Thank customers who write positive reviews. This small gesture can go a long way toward improving your relationship and converting your customer into an advocate.
  • Share what you’re hearing with your staff. Your staff is on the front lines and has a direct impact on customers’ experiences. Share successes to keep your staff motivated and any improvements needed for the future.


Responding to Negative Reviews

Turning a negative dining experience into a positive one can help you boost business. In fact, a one-star improvement in a restaurant’s ratings translates to anywhere from a 5-9% effect on revenue.

Here are some tips to help you respond to even your harshest critics:

  • Keep it cordial. Your business might feel like your baby, but your customers are hungry, which can make them feel like babies too.
  • Apologize for the poor experience. While every negative review may not accurately reflect your restaurant’s dining experience, a sincere yet brief apology will show that you take customer complaints seriously.
  • Identify a solution. From running out of a popular dish to mixing up orders, mistakes happen. Outline specific steps to fix the situation and show diners you’re committed to improving the experience.
  • Evaluate making changes. If you see recurring complaints, making improvements can drastically improve your ratings and reviews.



Not sure how to respond to a negative review? Check out what a good response might be to common customer reviews:

Review 1: A diner says their food was late


Why this works:

  • The responder apologizes, then offers a solution
  • The response is short and specific


Review 2: A diner says their order was inaccurate


Why this works:

  • Replied promptly as soon as the diner posted their review
  • Shows a solution
  • Encourages the diner to try the restaurant again


Review 3: A diner thinks the food is not great


Why this works:

  • The message is personalized by addressing the customer directly
  • Highlights a component of your business to other diners who are reading (“source our seafood from high-quality suppliers”)
  • Shows you’re working to address the complaint, even if you don’t have the answer in that moment


Review 4: A diner says they never received their order


Why this works:

  • Response shows you have investigated the issue
  • The tip to the diner is made in a polite, cordial manner
  • Shows the restaurant is committed to solving the problem


The Best Strategies For Attracting New Customers To Your Restaurant

So much emphasis is placed on retaining existing customers, but it is equally as important to attract new customers.

The following creative strategies will help you attract these new diners that are essential to building your business, and keep them loyal.

Promote Through Online Ordering and Delivery

Online ordering and delivery is quickly becoming a must-have service for restaurants to capture and retain new customers—particularly millennials.

Here are some of the ways online ordering platforms, like Grubhub, can help restaurant owners bring in new customers:

  • Open your Digital Doors. Online ordering exposes your restaurant to many potential new customers. In fact, 90% of Grubhub customers discover restaurants they wouldn’t have otherwise been aware of.
  • Entice with Promotions. With Grubhub’s promotions control panel, restaurants can log in and select options to easily create promotions to attract new customers. These programs can be tracked and refined to yield the best results.
  • Capitalize On Delivery Demand. With 60% of Americans ordering delivery or takeout every week, providing delivery can help you reach those customers who can’t, or don’t want to dine out.
  • Tap Into the Lunch Market. The corporate lunch crowd demands fast online ordering and delivery service. With Grubhub, corporate customers can enjoy easy group ordering services, receive discounts, consolidated invoicing and more.

Online ordering also makes it faster and more convenient for individuals to order ahead and quickly pick up take-out on their lunch hour, rather than standing on line.  

Get Creative On Social Media

No campaign to cultivate new customers would be complete without social media. This low-cost marketing strategy allows restaurants to engage directly with customers while promoting their brand.

Use these simple techniques to extend your reach and exposure on social media:

  • Facebook. Along with posting relevant content and allowing diners to “check in”, use the events app to highlight weekly specials and events, run a fun poll to get people involved, and encourage diners to leave Facebook recommendations and reviews of your restaurant.
  • Instagram. You can make a splash on this highly visual platform by asking local food bloggers to post about your restaurant, always use descriptive, branded hashtags when sharing images, and post during times when people are thinking about eating (i.e., lunch time, after work).
  • Review Sites. Since 53% of Millennials use reviews to help them make dining decisions, it’s important to get your restaurant on multiple review sites, monitor and respond to all reviews as promptly, and encourage your customers to leave reviews.
  • Brand Ambassadors. Free Wi-Fi allows diners to promote your restaurant on social media by “checking-in” on social media, posting food pictures and branded hashtags, leaving reviews and more.

With these creative marketing suggestions, you have begun to formulate your own plan for attracting new customers without breaking the bank.

Expose Your Business To New Customers Through Catering.

Image: Flickr

First Impressions Count: How To Make Your Restaurant Unforgettable

A customer’s opinion of your restaurant will be formed within the first few moments. That’s why it’s critical to make a great first impression quickly—both on-site and online.

Try out a few new techniques, and make your restaurant memorable in all the right ways.

Make The First Point of Contact Friendly and Helpful

New customers will interact with your restaurant through your website or social media, on a digital ordering platform like Grubhub, on the phone, or in person.

Regardless of how they reach out, it’s critical to make their first experience cordial, convenient, and comfortable.

  • Practice Phone Etiquette. Make sure customers are dealt with professionally and politely on the phone. Try to answer within three rings, speak clearly, and really listen to the customer. If the person must be put on hold, ask for permission first, and get back as quickly as possible.
  • Welcome Your Guests. Face-to-face hospitality can leave a positive, lasting impression with customers. Receive all dine-in guests warmly and seat them as soon as possible. Counter-service patrons should be acknowledged promptly and cordially. Don’t forget to make take-out and delivery customers feel welcome too with a friendly greeting either in person or on the phone.
  • Have A Modern Website. Customers can get turned off by an old-fashioned or glitchy website. Modernize yours with mobile-friendly and responsive technology that adapts to different screen sizes and devices. Make your smenu searchable by uploading a text (not PDF) version, and give customers the ability to place orders online.
  • Be Engaging on Social Media. Consumers often judge brands by how they engage with the public on social media. That’s why it’s important to stay relevant on all social media, reply to any negative comments/reviews appropriately, and make sure to engage with positive ones, too!

Make Your Restaurant Sparkle

Cleanliness is a necessary ingredient in making a great first impression and getting customers to return. Keep your facility ship-shape and your food presentable and visually appealing.

  • Maintain Restrooms. A dirty restroom will keep 1/3 of your customers from returning. Make sure you keep your restrooms clean and well-stocked throughout the day.
  • Clean Surfaces. Customers will immediately notice tables that have not been bussed properly, sticky or worn menus, dirty silverware and food on the floor, so keep these things clean and well-maintained.
  • Present Yourself Professionally. Your wait staff represents your brand, so encourage proper grooming and consistent uniform standards.
  • Package Neatly. Make a great first impression on new take-out or delivery customers with food that is neat, appetizing, and the right temperature. Use appropriately-sized containers and sealed lids to prevent slips and spills, and always package hot and cold items and sauces separately.

Distinguish Your Brand

You can make an immediate and lasting impression on customers by promoting your unique selling proposition. Your unique selling proposition is what makes your restaurant distinctive and different than others.

Customers will notice the attention to detail that you take to follow through on your theme.

  • Brand Yourself Appropriately. Your logo is often one of the first things customers will notice about your brand. Create or update your logo and use colors that represent both your brand and appeal to your customer.
  • Match Décor, Signage, and Ambiance. Choose eye-catching graphics, furnishings, lighting, and more that matches your brand.
  • Let Your Menu Tell Your Story. Your menu should, in both style and content, make an immediate impression on your customers and align with your restaurant concept.

Making a great first impression gives you the opportunity to completely win that new customer over, while creating an experience they will remember for a long time.

Learn The Best Marketing Tactics To Attract Customers.

Image: Pexels

5 Elements Your Restaurant Website Needs to Boost Online Orders

Digital food ordering is more than a passing fad; it has become a way of life for most adults in America. Moreover, the online food-delivery market is expected to continue growing over the next several years.

To meet this increasing demand and boost your online ordering strategy, work these five elements into your website:

#1: A Modern Design

Lack of functionality is the top reason diners will abandon an online order. Update your website with these two modern standards that today’s online ordering customers demand:

Make it Responsive. Responsive web designs customize your website on the fly so that it displays correctly on all devices: computers, tablets, and smartphones.

Make it Mobile-ready. Grubhub reports that 77% of online restaurant and bar searches begin from a mobile device. Limit scrolling and zooming by placing critical elements such as “menu” and “order” buttons in the top half of the screen.

#2: A Functional Menu

Your menu showcases and sells your food, so make it accessible and informative.

Avoid PDFs. PDF versions of your menu are clumsy, requiring customers to zoom and scroll. Text menus are editable, easier for the customer to explore, and search engine-friendly.

Give information. Customers prefer ordering online because they have time to peruse the menu and ensure their order is correct. Provide detailed descriptions so there are no unanswered questions—or risk losing their order.

Make it customizable. With Grubhub, customers can easily personalize their orders by switching out ingredients and choosing specifications on how they want their food prepared.

#3: An Easy Ordering Process

Online ordering platforms deliver the speed and convenience customers expect, with benefits to the restaurant as well:

Make it Faster. Orders placed through Grubhub take only 45 seconds (on average) to process—that’s less than half the time of an average phone order (two minutes).

Ensure Accuracy. With pre-determined options to choose from, customers can order—and kitchens can produce—accurately.

Offer Convenience. Online ordering platforms store ordering history and preferences so customers can view prior orders and even re-order in as little as one click. This customized experience fosters customer loyalty and satisfaction.

#4: Appetizing Images

Images can enhance customers’ online ordering experience. Using images improves speed and accuracy, and can increase sales by 30% (Grubhub).

Showcase actual menu items. Use custom (never stock) images to increase familiarity and generate interest in your dishes.

Stage photos. Grubhub recommends photographing food right away in natural lighting, garnishing, and plating sauces separately.

Upcycle user pics. Repurpose great images customers have taken and posted on social media (with their permission).

#5: Social Media Links

Today’s savvy online customers want to see ratings, reviews, and be connected with the businesses they patronize. Stay relevant on your social media sites and link to them so customers can learn more and be engaged:

Get Involved. Stay active on as many review sites as you can. Encourage customers to write reviews, and make sure to respond to all reviews.

Start a Trend. Grubhub suggests posting pictures of select dishes using a branded hashtag and Hemofilter overlay to encourage Instagram and other social media foodies to do the same.

Enhance Your Presence. Use these tips from Grubhub to get the most out of Facebook. Also, adjust your page’s settings so diners can “check-in” and leave reviews.


By keeping your website up-to-date with these simple elements, you can catch the wave of this rapidly-expanding online ordering market.


Read Grubhub’s tutorial on how to take photos that showcase your food deliciously.

Image: Pexels: Bruce Mars

Taking on Your Biggest Pain Points? Grubhub Can Help with That

Looking to solve your restaurant’s biggest pain points?

Grubhub has the tools and services needed to do just that. From pumping up sales to simplifying delivery, Grubhub can improve your restaurant in more ways than one.

Grubhub’s on-demand delivery network helps solve staffing issues. Better yet, restaurants who join Grubhub see 6 times the growth in revenue annually versus restaurants who don’t.

Start boosting your business with a little help from Grubhub.

Pain point: Getting new customers

At Grubhub, we do all the marketing so you don’t have to. Leverage our online tools to target potential customers with special discounts and track how many of those customers take advantage of your offers. We offer what you need to reach (and keep) new customers.

Pain point: Responding to reviews

The sooner you respond to reviews, the better. More than half of all customers expect a response to their online review in 7 days or less.¹ Grubhub can raise the bar on customer satisfaction by asking customers specific questions about their orders and allowing you to address feedback within minutes.*

When it comes to typing out a response, keep a close eye on grammar and spelling while also mentioning a few details from the customer’s review. In addition to being specific, let customers know you care by thanking them for their feedback and outlining how it will help improve your restaurant moving forward.

Pain point: Maximizing your restaurant hours

Experiment with your hours, delivery fees and order minimums to drive business using Grubhub’s self-service tools. Whether you’re looking to decrease fees during the week or extend hours on the weekends, Grubhub helps you make the most of delivery.

See what works best by updating your restaurant’s pickup and delivery hours. With Grubhub, you can update whether your restaurant is open for business in just a few clicks.

Pain point: Simplifying your menu

Featuring images and detailed descriptions can clear up confusion surrounding your menu — and even drive sales. Around 50% of customers would be more likely to order an unfamiliar dish if an image of it was included.

Add either element to your menu using Grubhub and tack on a few specials to further entice potential customers. Since menu updates are reflected across multiple channels, you’ll also save plenty of time along the way.

Say goodbye to your most pressing pain points. Grubhub can help unlock your potential to increase revenue and serve up enhanced customer experiences. Get started today!

Ready to learn more about improving your restaurant operations? Subscribe to The Tip Jar!


¹National Restaurant Association

*This feature is only available to self-delivery restaurants.

How to Deliver More Memorable Customer Experiences

An inviting and memorable customer experience is key to driving regular, repeat business.

But it doesn’t end in the dining room, you can deliver positive experiences through all aspects of your business — whether customers are dining in or ordering online.

Here are 4 ways to start creating memorable interactions with your customers:

  • Tack on a rewards program. Start using a rewards-based system in your restaurant to treat customers after they’ve dined in or ordered takeout. For example, if customers spend a certain amount on their online order, hop on the Grubhub for Restaurants platform to offer a free appetizer or drink with their purchase.
  • Make mobile ordering simple. When customers order from their mobile device, they want a simple, easy-to-use platform. Invest in a mobile-friendly, responsive website to deliver a headache-free ordering experience for customers. Short on time or money? Partner with a third-party service like Grubhub for Restaurants to feature your restaurant menu online.
  • Pay attention to what customers are saying. Online reviews are inevitable in today’s digital world — and for the dozens of glowing reviews you receive, there might be a few less-than-stellar comments. But the way you respond can greatly impact a customer’s perception of your restaurant. Turn a negative experience into a positive one by being prompt and specific about how you will address the customer’s issue now and in the future.
  • Surprise and delight with delivery. Use Grubhub for Restaurants to give your customers a little something special with their order. From branded promotional items to promo codes for their next online order or trip to your restaurant, little gestures go a long way in keeping customers happy.

Everything from the food you serve to the online ordering platform you use impacts how customers feel when they interact with your restaurant. To keep them coming back for more, use these tips to help give them a customer experience they won’t soon forget.

Interested in more restaurant management tips? Subscribe to The Tip Jar today!

3 Ways to Boost Your Bottom Line

The restaurant industry is growing — with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Industry sales are expected to reach $799 billion this year alone while employment will creep toward 15 million, highlighting a market opportunity many will find hard to resist.¹

Use the following 3 tips to boost business and make sure your restaurant stands out in the crowd.

1. Make the mobile move

Smartphones have quickly become a staple of society. In fact, just under 60% of all searches are made from a mobile device. When it comes to the highest share of mobile search volume, the food and beverage industry takes the cake with more than 70%.²

Satisfy the appetites of these busy customers with a mobile-friendly website. The easier it is to navigate, the better chance you have of attracting on-the-go customers. If you don’t have time to incorporate a responsive web design or easy-to-tap elements, check out how Grubhub’s convenient mobile ordering can still help you ride the mobile wave.

2. Address customer feedback

Responding to negative reviews may not be your favorite part of the job, but it’s an important one. About 9 in 10 customers say they’d be in favor of a company reaching out to them if they left a negative review.³ Demonstrate your willingness to go above and beyond by thoughtfully responding to negative reviews.

Apologizing for a poor experience and sharing a solution will show your commitment to keeping customers happy. And happy customers are more likely to keep coming back for more. In fact, just a one-star improvement in your restaurant’s ratings can have anywhere from a 5-9% effect on revenue.4 Use Grubhub’s best practices to make sure you’re responding to negative reviews in the right way.

3. Enhance your delivery

The U.S. food delivery market is projected to skyrocket from around $11 billion to more than $200 billion by 2020.5

Meet this growing demand with a fast and efficient delivery service — and increase your bottom line along the way. Reduce the costs that come with a delivery service of your own by outsourcing. Grubhub can handle the entire delivery process, saving you money and freeing up you and your staff to focus on creating delicious food.

Looking for more tips on how to boost your bottom line? Subscribe to The Tip Jar today!


¹National Restaurant Association: 2017 State of the Industry
²Hitwise: Mobile Search Topics & Themes (U.S.)
4Harvard Business School
5Morgan Stanley: The Pizza Paradigm For Online Food Delivery