Restaurants are looking towards technology to improve operational efficiency, and for good reason. With increasing labor costs and staff turnover rates, technology is a key solution to satisfying more guests with the same number of staff members or less.
But can technology also directly improve the guest experience? Looking at how technology impacts guest reviews can provide an answer to this question. After Presto’s pay-at-table technology was deployed in 13 locations of leading family dining restaurant chains, each location saw a statistically significant quantitative and qualitative improvement in Google reviews over the course of a year.
The Importance of Reviews
Reviews are a highly important method with which both restaurants and consumers gather information about each other. Restaurants are able to better understand what guests like and dislike about their experience, and use reviews as data points to improve their business with. Online reviews also influence a consumer’s perception of a restaurant. In a survey of US diners, 94% of respondents answered that online reviews influence their dining decisions. A low average rating can easily deter guests away from visiting a restaurant, and guests will also often directly compare the average ratings of different businesses to decide which one to visit.
The Popularity of Google Reviews
Google is the world’s leading search engine, and is the website that the majority of people use to search up information about a business. According to a 2018 survey, 63.6% of consumers check reviews on Google before visiting a business. Reviews about the business show up at the top of the search results page. In addition, people who use Google Maps to search for restaurants near their location can immediately compare reviews in between restaurants.
In Dec 2018, Presto deployed its pay-at-table technology in 13 locations of a leading family dining restaurant chain. Presto Pay At Table enables guests to make payments, split checks, order food & drinks, play games, and provide feedback—all from the table. Restaurants are able to turn tables faster by offering guests a faster and more secure way to make payments.
We performed a comparison of the distribution of Google reviews before the devices were installed and after a year they had been in use, and found statistically significant quantitative and qualitative improvement in Google reviews.
Google allows users to rank a business from 1 to 5 stars, with 5 stars being the highest review. We compared the distribution of ratings for each of the 13 locations after a year. While the distribution of ratings 1, 2, 3, and 4 remained constant after installation of the devices, there was a 10% increase in 5 star reviews across all locations.
Google also allows users to leave comments with their reviews. We created word clouds of comments for before and after installation of Presto Pay At Table. Before Presto devices were installed, words associated with a long wait time such as “waits,” “long,” and “crowded” had a high frequency of occurrence. After a year, there was a decrease in negative word frequency, and an increase in frequency of positive words such as “super,” “good,” and “fast,” suggesting an improvement in guest satisfaction.
In the 12 months since we started working with the restaurant chain, Presto technology helped improve their 5 star Google reviews by 10% and increase positive sentiments associated with guest experiences. According to a 2018 survey, 80% of consumers say that the star ratings they trust the most are 4 and 5 stars. The result is that the restaurant chain saw an increase in their average rating that Google displays, as well as the frequency of reviews that other users trust more.
Improvement in online reviews is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what Presto Pay At Table can achieve for restaurants. We can conduct further analysis of the surveys that the restaurants were able to collect with Presto’s technology, as well as determine whether there was an increase in check sizes. Contact us to learn how our platform can help you improve operational efficiency and get data-driven insights while enhancing guest experience.
Toronto, ON. The Drake Sky Yard Outdoor Patio. Photograph by Zach Slootsky