Do you read reviews before going to a restaurant? Do you leave reviews? What are some "green lights"? Conversly, how much do you take with a grain of salt? What are some absolute no-go's? How many reviews do you usually read before deciding on one place or another? Is it rude for the restaurant to suggest a review in person(host, server, manager)?
I ask because I recently became a manager at a very high end, well known restaurant in my town and I want to know how a business can improve online presence via customer reviews. A vast majority of the reviews have been fantastic, there are the occasional instances where things just don't go as they should or a mistake happens which we are always tying to improve on. There have also recently been some negative reviews regarding covid restrictions/policies, lack of staff, wait times/occupancy limitations, party size limits, mask mandates and to-go limitations. Unfortunately, these things are often beyond our control and we are doing the best we can considering the situation...(and that we are in SoCal.) I guess my final question is.... are we losing business from these reviews and what would be the most urgent change to help the public to feel more safe and accommodated in the intimate dining atmosphere that we offer?
Also, if you find yourself in my hometown and know the place... come say hello and I'll buy you a 1919 old fashioned.
Thank you all for any input!