Take It From Aesop’s, Reputation Is Everything
Welcome to Aesop’s Bangkok, Thailand
For John Gamvros, Aesop’s is more than just a restaurant — it’s a family tradition. “My father actually started this restaurant in Sydney, Australia thirty years ago. It became quite famous for being a place to go to celebrate.”
Fast forward to 2017 and Gamvros has taken over the family business in Thailand. “[I] opened the restaurant and basically copied dad’s concept, moderniz[ing] it a bit in terms of look and feel and design but keeping the heart and soul of what he created back in the ‘90’s,” says Gamvros.
It’s been an overwhelming success. Between the Greek dancing, plate smashing, and retro music, people from all over the world can’t seem to get enough.
The Challenge: Unwavering Competition
Restaurants around the world face cutthroat competition daily, and Aesop’s is no exception. “On Tripadvisor, there’s 12,000 restaurants in Bangkok. It’s insane, and there’s new concepts opening up every five minutes. From a marketing point of view, the biggest challenge in Bangkok is competition,” says Gamvros.
Reputation, Reputation, Reputation
So how does Gamvros keep Aesop’s packed while being surrounded by so many other culinary experiences? By effectively managing his restaurant’s reputation. Aesop’s takes pride in being known as a fun, entertainment-based restaurant that cares about the experience of every guest that dines there.
That’s where Tripadvisor Premium comes in.
From pictures of the restaurant to mouth-watering dishes, Aesop’s has really aced the photo game. And that goes a long way when working on an online reputation. Potential customers look at the photographs and go to Aesop’s expecting that they will experience what they’ve been shown. And Gamvros takes pride in delivering on those high expectations.
“If anyone’s had a bad experience, I obviously want to fix it before they walk out the door. That’s my aim. And I’ve managed to do that every time,” says Gamvros. “We do our best to mitigate any negatives on the spot.” When something does come up, Gamvros makes sure he responds to reviews on websites like Tripadvisor.
For Gamvros, reputation management doesn’t end when a customer leaves. One of his best techniques for success has been responding to reviews. “I have all the alerts set up, basically anytime anyone reviews us...and I pretty much respond or reply or manage it instantly,” he says.
This way, he shows travelers and locals alike that Aesop’s is a place with a hands-on owner who cares about their experience. “People read reviews and the responses that we [owners] write,” he says.“You can’t rest on your laurels and say ‘Oh you know, we’ve got a hundred great Tripadvisor reviews,’ because the experience of every guest matters.” Gamvros makes sure that all of his responses are personal and sincere. Here’s an example of how he responded to a recent five-bubble review:
“Thank you! We loved giving you guys a holiday highlight. The energy your table brought to the restaurant was amazing and really made it a night to remember for everyone! Come back soon!!”
Now It’s Your Turn
So what does Gamvros have to say to those just starting out? At the end of the day, work hard to make every experience at your restaurant spectacular. “You’re only as good as your last souvlaki,” he says.