Hospitality industry experiences year on year increase in positive social reviews

Feed It Back’s social tracker for November reveals an uplift in positive social reviews across the hospitality sector, with the average social review score increasing from 4.1 in November 2018, to 4.3 this year.

The data, taken from thousands of social reviews left by consumers across the restaurant, pub and bar and quick service industries, shows that restaurants are driving the spike in positive social reviews over the past year. The percentage of positive social reviews of restaurants has increased by 12 pp, going from 79% to 91%.

Despite an increase in positive social reviews across the industry, pubs and bars actually experienced a slight decline in their average score. Average social reviews in the pub and bar sector dipped by 3.1pp, falling from 93% in November 2018 to 90% in November 2019.

Google remains the most popular platform – with 64.3% of all reviews in November left on the channel – increasing from 59.3% in November 2018. TripAdvisor comes in second place, but has experienced a slight decrease year on year, with the percentage of reviews dipping from 29.5% in November 2018, to 25.4% in November 2019. The percentage of reviews left on Facebook has also declined from 11.2% to 10.9% across the same period.

Delving deeper into the narrative behind the statistics, it seems that restaurant customers are most satisfied with the quality of the food and drink, with words such as ‘tasty’, ‘meal’ and ‘cocktail’ dominating positive reviews. The criticism of pubs and bars in November was mainly driven by speed of service – with words such as ‘wait’ and ‘time’ featuring heavily in negative reviews.

The data from both sectors demonstrates the importance of key occasions, with words such as ‘birthday’, ‘group’ and ‘friend’ featuring in both positive and negative reviews.

Carlo Platia, CEO of Feed It Back said “Looking at the increase in positive social reviews across the sector, it is clear that operators have been really listening to their guests, and have worked hard adapt their offering and enhance the guest experience. 

“The statistics show that restaurants in particular, have really been able to tackle the challenges of the past year, and as a result, have seen a tangible uplift in positivity. The numbers aren’t so positive for pubs and bars, and this can partly be attributed to the operational challenges they face, with customers often visiting for drinks and a meal, adding an extra layer of service that can often lead to higher waiting times. With this in mind, it is important that these operators place increased focus on what their guests are saying about them and use this to promote positive social reviews.

“As we enter the busiest trading time, it is more important than ever for hospitality operators to ensure that they are using all of available data to drive winning customer experiences. The festive period is a real make or break occasion, and therefore a pivotal time to increase positive reviews.”

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