Failure to leave customers with a positive experience is more likely to cause a negative review for pubs and restaurants when it’s a special occasion that is being celebrated, it has been revealed.
Statistics taken from thousands of social reviews across the restaurant, quick service restaurant and pub industries by tech firm Feed It Back demonstrate that special occasions in general generate positive reviews, but have the propensity to drive extremely negative reviews if dealt with badly.
Given operators don’t always know when a customer is marking a special occasion, the figures underline the importance of not letting slip and the effect it can have if they do.
Reviews referencing graduation had the most positive results, according to those analysed between May and November this year, particularly on Google Reviews where 78% of reviews received the top five-star rating, compared to 64% for anniversaries and only 52% for birthdays.
Birthday reviews were more polarised on Google Reviews, where almost a fifth of reviews received the minimum one out of five stars, while 52% of reviews scored the maximum five-star rating.
Anniversaries received the lowest score overall, with a fifth of reviews scoring the minimum rating possible on both Google Reviews and Facebook.
Digging deeper into what was impacting negative scores, the data revealed that guests are particularly upset when they have flagged a special occasion at the time of booking but feel ignored or let down on arrival.
In contrast, analysis of the positive reviews indicates that customers are happier when the booking process has been smooth and information or special requests have been taken on board.
Staff going the extra mile and taking some of the stress away from the organiser were also cited as contributing factors to positive reviews.
Carlo Platia, CEO of Feed It Back, said: “The data clearly shows these special occasions are make or break moments for operators where they can create loyal brand advocates or disgruntled customers, who then turn to social channels, feedback platforms and friends and family to vent frustration or share enjoyment.”