Never underestimate the power of the online review.
Ninety percent of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business and 88 percent of consumers treat online reviews with the same trust as personal recommendations. What's more, customers are likely to spend 31 percent more on any business that has excellent reviews.
If you aren't fully aware of the benefits a great online review can bring, there is one business in Los Angeles that surely does: Bottega Louie, a restaurant that opened a decade ago in downtown LA.
Since opening its doors, the spot has garnered a little over 16,000 Yelp reviews, currently more than any other business on the platform. And Bottega Louie hasn't exchanged quality for quantity--76 percent of all reviewers forked over a 4-star or 5-star rating.
But to what does this restaurant owe its success?
Ryan Shapiro, Director of Sales and Marketing for Bottega Louie, says multiple factors have contributed to this overwhelming online response. Namely, Shapiro explains, the business was able to rack up their reviews by offering an incredibly unique atmosphere and wide range of products.
"You can come five times and have five completely different experiences," says Shapiro, and it's easy to understand how.
The restaurant stocks a bakery in the front, and a stylish diner in the back. Sleek and minimalistic, Bottega Louie boasts an expansive menu that offers a variety of tastes: fried chicken, beignets, hamburgers, and baked goods.
"Our restaurant menu is Italian," explains Shapiro. "It does have a California influence to it, and then we have our French Patisserie, but we are in L.A., [which] is also a big influence on it." With a menu like this, Bottega Louie is able to draw in different crowds that want to order different things, thus appealing to a larger audience.
The restaurant is visited by 15,000 patrons every week, and brings a playful atmosphere into the hustle and bustle of downtown L.A.
But the staff at Bottega Louie don't just collect Yelp reviews and let them sit--another testament to their understanding of satisfying patrons is the staff's willingness to receive and engage with customer feedback.
Says Shapiro, "There are things that people say that we take to heart and we look at, [like] 'Okay multiple people have made this comment--let's review it. Let's sit down and see if there's merit to it and make sure we're constantly evolving and making changes.'"
And, ultimately, listening to customer feedback and constantly improving your products and services is the key to success in any business.