14 facts & figures about online reviews every restaurant owner should read
By now you’ve probably heard that online reputation management is essential for every business, especially…
Happy Tosti is an amazing restaurant concept that fuses social entrepreneurship, with the the craziest, most irresistible toast combinations. This awesome concept started out in 2016 when two young entrepreneurs put in motion their dream “to create jobs for persons with functional disabilities, while serving a dash of toast heaven right in The Hague.” Today, Happy Tosti has grown to 7 locations, spread across the Netherlands.
The secret behind their overwhelmingly positive reviews? Co-owner Wibe Smulders shares his team’s philosophy to customer care! You won’t be surprised to learn that this savvy entrepreneur has both offline and online components to his customer service strategy.
“Our goal is to employ 500 people with a functional disability in the next 5 years. We’re at 100 at the moment, which means we’re growing quite fast.” Wibe says. “65% of labor hours is being performed by people with a disability.” He shares that he is proud of the diversity in their restaurants. Happiness is a central value in how they deal with each other in the team, and also how they deal with their guests. This has contributed to their great ratings and popularity.
Wibe explains that Happy Tosti applies this offline philosophy with their online efforts: “It goes without saying that our online reputation and customer satisfaction are important to us. This is why we focus is on providing quality and proper service both online and offline.” He adds: “When you make your customers happy, they’ll write about it.” Then, thanking them for taking the time to write reviews, extends the offline happy experience to online. It’s a cycle. He admits, however, that he wishes new visitors took a little bit of time to learn about the Happy Tosti concept (NL Link). Some tourists visit the restaurant on the sole basis that they had seen a high Tripadvisor rating. They don’t always realise that they will be served by persons with a functional handicap. “Our challenge is to meet their expectations, regardless,” says Wibe.
“Our strategy is to answer reviews as quickly as possible, but especially the negative ones.” Wibe says. “As soon as we see a bad review coming in, we share it with our managers.” We take reviews seriously and discuss them as a team. “[We think] negative reviews are written for a reason,” Wibe explains. “Feedback is a means to examine ourselves. We’re constantly seeking to understand the underlying reasons for any complaints, which gives us the opportunity to turn something [originally] negative into something positive – not only for the aggrieved guest, but future guests as well. We always hope that they come back!”
Online reputation management can be especially difficult as you expand your business. However, with effective monitoring tools, you can easily track operations at each location, gain customer insights, understand what needs improvement, identify star performers and laggards, and improve each location’s search performance.
Wibe and his partners use AreTheyHappy to closely follow the online reputation of each Happy Tosti location. “My co-founders and I keep track of all reviews and messages from the AreTheyHappy inbox. This means that we no longer have to log-in to each social media and review channel for our different locations.” That’s at least 28 individual social and review channels they no longer manually check. These are now automatically aggregated every hour in AreTheyHappy.
By default, owners see the data of every single location, but a location manager only has access to his or her location.With However, businesses can decided what each user can or cannot see. In the case of Happy Tosti, the founders and partners have complete oversight, while “franchisers and location managers have access to their assigned locations only. “
The insights management gets from AreTheyHappy’s are used to motivate their restaurant managers: “We give our managers targets based on data, and we try to achieve customer feedback and happiness goals together.” The inbox is also used to encourage team members: “We often send good reviews to our staff. It means that receiving reviews remains top-of-mind!”
“Social media and review sites are constantly changing. We recently saw that with Facebook, when reviews were replaced by recommendations,” Wibe tells us. That is one of the main reasons why we have chosen to work with AreTheyHappy: “Like us, AreTheyHappy is a young business, which is always on the move! It’s great working with a company constantly reacting to online changes. Plus, it’s super easy to use!”
Don’t forget to write a review and support this great project!