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Online reviews have become a crucial part of business for restaurants. Last week social media managers from Pie Five, Firehouse, Pei Wei and First Watch formed a panel during the Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit in Dallas to talk to a deeply interested audience about the ins and outs of handling Internet critiques.
The four panelists agreed that Yelp was the most popular of the review sites, with most saying that Facebook had growing restaurant review popularity.
Q: Do any of you allow franchisees to respond directly to reviews of your brand?
Milligan of Firehouse: We have 1,050 locations and we handle and respond to all of those (corporately). The majority of franchisees don't have time to respond to them, so we try to do all of them. We do have a handful (of franchisees) who are very passionate about handling their own reviews, and we do allow that.
Turman of Pie Five: We allow our franchisees to respond directly because we feel like a lot of it (review subject matter) is operational and we think they can really respond best to that. — Shelly Whitehead, Fast Casual