Pollyanna Vincent also revealed at the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers’ autumn debate last Thursday (16 October) that, despite pressure from the trade, there are no plans to introduce a feature flagging up when a venue is under new management unless there have been “relevant” changes.
The senior partnership manager at the internet giant was responding to a question from David McHattie, former chief executive of the ALMR.
On the subject of segmenting pubs and restaurants, she said: “There is work being done on that at the moment. I can’t really talk too much about it at the moment but I saw an email about it this morning. It is about segmenting because we already have that within hotels – luxury, budget, etc. But for pubs, it is coming. Watch this space.”
On the issue of change of management, she said: “If there is a change of ownership then that should be flagged to the management centre (a section of the website for operators) so that our team can look into that and if relevant – if you’ve done a major refurb, for instance, or there’s been a brand change - then the old reviews would be purged. But if you’re essentially just taking on the exact same establishment, is that really different?”
Vincent also advised the audience on how to stand out on TripAdvisor. She said that customers were now increasingly searching for “social proof” that a venue is worth visiting – and will choose their destination on recommendation, even if it is from someone they don’t know.
She said there were four things that generally pointed towards a successful TripAdvisor profile – the number of photos; the number of photos submitted by the management; the total number of reviews and that the opening hours were displayed.
She said a successful example of working with the hospitality sector was the site’s partnership with La Tasca, which became the first restaurant chain to host TripAdvisor comments – good and bad – on its website. People who book on the company’s website are also sent an email asking them to submit a review. She said 69% of restaurants across the estate improved their popularity index as a result.
She said: “People can be wary of negative reviews, but it’s also about managing expectations. What is right for me might not be right for someone else and if I come to your website and see that content there I’m not going to come, I’m not going to be disappointed and I’m not going to write a negative review.”