TrustYou, an online reputation management site specializing in the hospitality industry, has expanded into the restaurant space. Bringing its 360-degree solution to aggregating and analyzing increasingly important online reviews and social media content to the culinary world, TrustYou's holistic approach delivers semantic analysis and a proven track record of increasing reviews, distributing content across multiple platforms to help drive revenue, said Ben Jost, TrustYou CEO and co-founder.
The restaurant platform officially launched this week, with a soft launch that already included a number of clients such as Hard Rock Cafes and Bob's Steak & Chop House, and award-winning restaurants such as the French Room in The Adolphus Hotel in Dallas. These restaurants are using the TrustYou restaurant platform to manage and maximize the potential of the continuously growing universe of online, user-generated content, Jost said. Sources covered by the semantic analysis include: OpenTable, GrubHub, Citysearch, Yelp!, Zagat, ViaMichelin, Fodors, TripAdvisor, Qype, lafourchette, Google+, foursquare, Facebook and Twitter. Other sites will be added to the search in the coming months spanning dozens of countries to accommodate TrustYou's global client base.
The key semantic categories featured are restaurant overall experience, food, beverages, location, service and price. Restaurant clients using the tool have a centralized dashboard that makes identifying trends, responding to reviews and tracking management responses incredibly simple and streamlined, Jost said. In addition, eateries can identify top competitors — up to 10 — and benchmark against them. Responding directly from the tool to review across a variety of sites is one of the most applauded time savers, with competitive analysis running in parallel in terms of importance.
TrustYou also offers survey functionality as part of the product suite at no additional cost. Feedback questionnaires can be customized and distributed across a number of platforms, from Google+ to Yelp! and TripAdvisor. A greater survey volume results in more reviews, which translates into higher visibility, increased scores and more revenue, said Jost.
"We heard from many of our hotel clients that the restaurants within were looking for an easier way to digest what customers are saying," he said. "It made perfect sense for us to apply our semantic technology, which comes from over 50 man years of university research, to this segment of the industry. Restaurant reviews are a major source of recommendations and staying on top of what is being said and responding is of paramount importance. Taking it a step further to identify trends and adjust strategy accordingly is what sets strategic, service-focused eateries apart from the rest."
One study has shown that even slight changes in online restaurant reviews can make or break a restaurant. Per TechCrunch: A simple half-star improvement on Yelp's 5-star rating makes it 30 to 49 percent more likely that a restaurant will sell out its evening seats. Online reviews, the researchers conclude, "play an increasingly important role in how consumers judge the quality of goods and services."
Still to come for the restaurant tool will be the TrustScore, a single, easy-to-read ranking out of a possible 100 that is a compilation of guest feedback across all user-generated review sites. The TrustScore has become wildly popular amongst hotel clients; often headlining websites and serving as a guest satisfaction barometer. The higher the score, the better endorsement it is.
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