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  • Writer's pictureRachel S

The Merchynt Business Review: Blau Cucina e Caffé

Welcome to The Merchynt Business Review, where we analyze a small business's online reviews to find ways they can win customers from their competitors and grow their business faster. Give us 5 minutes and we'll show you how to increase your small business' revenue by 5-9%.

This week's featured small business: Blau Cucina e Caffé

About them: Blau Cucina e Caffé is an Italian cafe in Barcelona, Spain. They offer guests typical cafe drinks & pastries.

Current online customer reviews: 4.6/5 on Google & 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor

To start, let's have a look at their overall customer satisfaction score, which is a moving average of what their customers are saying about them in written reviews across various online review platforms, like Google, Yelp, Facebook, & TripAdvisor.

Right off the bat, you're going to notice that their customer satisfaction is doing very well, up 2.5%, from an already high starting place. They must be doing something right, so let's dig in deeper to see what people love about them.

To do this, we'll run an analysis on all reviews from the past 12 months and assess customer satisfaction against industry-specific key performance indicators (KPIs). A quick view of the graph below tells us that:

1. In January 2019 they did something that made their costs (the bottom line on the chart) be perceived as better than before. This could have been a price reduction or a focus on higher-quality ingredients which raised the perceived value. Another possibility is that they cleaned up their cafe, but there's no real sign of this in their reviews since their "Appearance" stays at 100% throughout the year.

2. They ran a very consistent cafe throughout a very turbulent 2020 - well done! In fact, if we look at the top 10 keywords that show up the most in their reviews we'll find that all 10 are positive:

And their customer satisfaction on all major platforms is through the roof!

It's rare that we see such a squeaky clean restaurant with glowing reviews, so let's now turn the investigation over to their competitors to see why people are likely choosing Blau over them.

Their local competitors are Arcano Restaurant, Restaurant Estrella, and La Taverna del Born.

By comparing their overall reviews on the major review sites, you'll see that it's a tight race between these 4 Barcelona cafes. Competition can be viewed as scary, or you can use it as motivation to improve your business. It seems like the latter here, with almost all reviews above 4.4, and a few 4.9 & 5's!

Picking a cafe or restaurant by these reviews would be tough. Let's dig in a bit more and see how satisfied their customers have been over time, these past 12 months:

It looks like cafes in Barcelona had a turbulent January - March, then stabilized in a new pecking order by May. By drilling into Restaurant Estrella's comeback a little more, and filtering reviews by the Hospitality filter we'll see that it was poor hospitality that caused the blip in overall satisfaction:

If you're a tourist in Barcelona, how would you pick which place to go? To be safe, let's check their TripAdvisor rankings:

There it is! For Blau to stand out in the crowd and beat their competitors, it appears they focused heavily on getting their ranking on TripAdvisor higher, gaining 77 spots since last year to the 294th most popular place in Barcelona, while their 3 competitors each slipt in the polls by over 100 points! If I were these other restaurants I'd be quickly trying to get more reviews on TripAdvisor before Blau completely runs away with it!

What's interesting is that Blau received only 141 reviews in the last 12 months, which is down by 87 from the previous year. If they want to stay on top they'll need to keep getting more reviews on all platforms.

The takeaway for Santa Monica Pizza Kitchen: You're doing great and your (likely) focus on TripAdvisor will pay off but don't neglect the other platforms.

Their review assessment: A-. All around their reviews are glowing, but to have a drop in review volume by over 20% in 1 year is a cause for concern - don't stop asking your customers for reviews!

Estimated outcome if the above recommendations are done

Based on a Harvard Business School survey, a single star increase in online customer reviews can result in a 5-9% increase in gross revenue, specifically for a small business operator. If their annual revenue is $1,500,000, and they can raise their 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor to 4.9, and their 4.6 stars on Google to 4.9, we estimate that they can increase their revenue by 2%, or $30,000 per year.


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