A quick guide for improving a restaurant’s online reputation

While the online food business is growing, here's a look at how online restaurant ratings work and how to improve the ratings—Restaurant Health Index (RHI)

A quick guide for improving a restaurant’s online reputation

As online food ordering is gaining popularity in India, restaurants are keen to expand their offerings online. Aggregators like Swiggy and Zomato are helping restaurants boost their online sales by leveraging on their ever-expanding customer base. The rise in demand has changed the dynamics of the F&B industry with concepts like cloud kitchen becoming popular as they only cater to the online marketplace and require less capital investment to start with. As these aggregators help restaurants widen their reach to the online customer base, how do they categorize or rate restaurants?

Restaurant Health Index (RHI)

The aggregators give ratings to a restaurant based on multiple parameters depending on operational efficiency and customer feedback. While the taste and quality of food are the baselines for repeat business and excellent customer reviews, there are other operational parameters that aggregators use to rate a restaurant, known as Restaurant Health Index (RHI). The RHI helps in defining the trade area of a restaurant, and it’s listing in the aggregator’s platform. For example, Swiggy categorizes restaurants based on tiers. A restaurant with good RHI would fall under the Platinum tier, where its trade area radius would be higher than that of a restaurant in the Silver tier. Larger trade area would mean a wider reach and more business.

What operational factors contribute to the rating and how to improve on it?

  1. Order acknowledgment: As a customer places an order, the restaurant needs to confirm the order in a defined time-period (Ideally, it should be under 3 minutes). Failing to do so can result in cancellation of the order or, worse, get penalized by the aggregator. Missing out on multiple orders can disable the restaurant on the aggregator’s platform for a day as a penalty. Now, who would want that to happen? It’s ideal to have a dedicated employee to manage the orders coming in and automate the process of acknowledging orders through companies like UrbanPiper.
  2. Preparation time: It’s essential for the restaurant to prepare food in a defined time-period as the logistic operations depend on it. Ideally, for a good rating, Mark Food Ready (MFR) rate should be above 80%. Long prep time can also affect the customer’s rating as customers don’t like waiting too long for their food. It’s crucial to plan kitchen operations well to avoid such situations. Identifying peak time and average order during this time can help in assessing the demand. This can be done by looking at past trends and analyzing them.
  3. Rider wait time: A rider gets assigned to the order based on the time it takes to prepare the food. When an order is marked food ready on the aggregator’s dashboard, the rider picks up the food for delivery. Delay in packaging can not only affect the rider’s efficiency, as he would be idle until the food gets packed but also impact the restaurant’s rating. Ideally, the wait time for riders should not go beyond 5 minutes.
  4. Canceled order: Although canceled orders are something that cannot be avoided, it can be kept at a minimum. Customers have the liberty to cancel the order anytime, but the restaurant gets a burn if it gets canceled due to the non-availability of items or non-acceptance of the order. It’s vital for a restaurant to update the items that are out of stock on the aggregator’s platform so that there are no orders for the stocked-out items.

While these factors can be managed internally, companies like UrbanPiper help restaurants work on these parameters efficiently and provide detailed data around it. Here’s a look at how UrbanPiper helps in tracking and improving a restaurant’s RHI.