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Preparing to reopen: increase your chances of a five-star review with good cocktails, music and a takeaway option

Bars and restaurants reopening at the start of July can maximise their chances of a five-star customer review by offering good cocktails, music and a takeaway option for those not yet ready to dine in. 

According to a new study by DeltaNet International, which aims to reveal the most important factors behind customer satisfaction, more than a quarter of customers (29%) will mention either great cocktails, music or takeaway options in a five-star review.

The research took into account 2,000 TripAdvisor reviews for bars and restaurants across the country, with many of those mentioning ‘‘takeaway’ in specific relation to lockdown. Customers have been quick to praise their favourite venue’s ability to offer take-out while maintaining excellent service and high-quality food.

It also reveals that those living in Edinburgh and Sheffield are most likely to give a five-star review to places offering a takeaway option, while Nottingham and London residents value great tasting cocktails more than anything else – mentioned in one out of three five-star ratings.

Darren Hockley, MD at DeltaNet International, commented:

“With many of our customers in the hospitality sector, we wanted to discover the factors that make up a five-star review, as bars and restaurants up and down the country prepare to reopen on July 4 and face a ‘new normal’.

“We found that nine out of ten ‘five-star’ reviews we analysed were given to those that offered the best customer service and had friendly staff, which is not too surprising in itself. But with limited operations and venues encouraged to have ‘minimal staff and customer interaction’, it’s important that businesses are doing all they can to achieve a glowing five-star review. 

“Delicious food and a friendly face isn’t necessarily all people take into account when leaving a review – by offering good cocktails and music for those that want to dine in, and a takeaway option for those that don’t or may be hesitant to eat on-premise – you stand a high chance of getting top marks from your customers, even during this difficult time.

“It’s also essential that as bars and restaurants look to reopen, they ensure their staff are up to date with their food safety qualifications; there will be an emphasis now, more than ever, on good health and safety practice and the ways in which venues can show their customers they are doing all they can to mitigate risk.”

Those living in Bristol and Glasgow value good music almost as much as friendly staff with over a quarter of reviews giving mention to this.

The research also highlights that bars and restaurants offering a good “atmosphere”, “experience”, “selection” and “lunch (menu)” are most likely to be awarded an excellent rating.

Private chef and entrepreneur Marcello Muiesan, who has previously managed a number of restaurants and wine bars during his career, said: “Post-lockdown, it will be crucial for bars and restaurant to create a safe and Covid-19 free environment where customers can relax and mingle.

“With social distancing and less chance to interact from the staff, another key point to get great reviews will be to create excellent value for money; lots of people have struggled over the last few months and with less money to spend they will look for a great deal and a safe place, possibly close to home so they don’t have to travel.”