New statistics from Feed It Back’s monthly social review tracker have revealed that the average review score for pubs and bars left across Facebook, TripAdvisor and Google during February was 4.3, which outperformed the restaurant sector that achieved an average score of 4.1.
The statistics, which were taken from thousands of social reviews across the restaurant, quick service restaurant and pub industries, revealed that an increase in positive reviews left on Facebook (which rose from 4.6 in January to 4.7 in February), and TripAdvisor (which rose from 4.2 to 4.3, over the same period), were the drivers behind the spike in positive reviews for the pub and bar sector.
The restaurant sector’s average social review score also rose between January (4.0) and February (4.1), a move entirely driven by Facebook, which experienced an average rating increase of 4.0 to 4.3, over the time period. The statistics are indicative of a wider trend of large fluctuations between Facebook’s average review score each month, which is a consequence of its polarised yes/no methodology change.
Looking across both sectors, Google’s market share dominance of reviews has receded slightly, falling from 64% in January to 60% in February. Conversely, TripAdvisor’s market share has grown to 29% – a 4% increase since January. Facebook’s market share grew by just 1% to reach 11%.
Looking at sentiment analysis across all channels, Facebook garners the most positive reviews with 87% of customers making a positive recommendation. Google follows closely behind with 51% of reviews receiving the maximum 5-star rating, and 29% rating their experience worthy of 4-stars. TripAdvisor, however, generates more polarised reviews, with 53% bestowing the maximum 5-stars, while 9% gave the lowest possible score of 1-star – which is 4% higher than Google.
Looking at what is driving reviews across each channel, the data reveals that positive TripAdvisor scores are people centric and driven by ‘friendly service’ and ‘helpful’ employees. Positive Google reviews continue to be driven by the ‘atmosphere’, but comments on the proposition referencing the ‘food’ or ‘drink’ also feature prominently in February. Facebook follows a similar trend, with ‘atmosphere’ primarily driving positive reviews. Across all channels, ‘wait times’ remain the dominant driver of negative reviews.
Commenting on the figures, Carlo Platia, CEO of Feed It Back said: “Following a challenging January, February brought cause for optimism across the hospitality industry. The figures clearly reveal that both pubs and bars, and restaurants, seized the opportunity to deliver a great customer experience and subsequently experienced increases to their average review scores.
“Interestingly, the statistics clearly show volatility across Facebook scores, which experience a lot of fluctuations month on month. This trend has been driven by its polarised methodology, which has placed great pressure on operators to ensure every element of their customer journey is on point.
“The safety net of reviews between two and four stars out of five has been removed, so if the post meal coffee is not up to scratch, or the customers wait to long for their bill, it can turn an otherwise positive experience into an entirely negative review. There is no room for error.
“In the face of this, and the fierce competition on the high street, the pressure is on for businesses to really nail down their offering, engage their employees, and review their operations to ensure they are consistently hitting their brand standards, driving their online reputation and, consequently, getting people through the door.”