Junction Kitchen & Provisions: Using online reviews to make better biscuits

Turns out, the secrets to making better biscuits and gravy can be found on online review sites. You just have to know where to look.

Kimana Littleflower was religious about monitoring and responding to online reviews for her South Carolina restaurant, Junction Kitchen & Provisions, on popular consumer sites like YelpGoogle, and Facebook. She was doing well, keeping her star ratings around 4-5 stars, which makes a huge impact on a small business. But then she noticed an anomaly — a handful of complaints about the biscuits and gravy being dry.

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Now, if you’ve ever been to the southern U.S., you know that biscuits and gravy are serious business, so this was not a trivial matter. What could account for the sudden wave of less-than-stellar feedback about a specific menu item? Kimana took the question to her prep cook and learned that a subtle change in process — adding butter at a different temperature — was changing how the dough raised. Easy fix.

Small businesses win or wither on their ability to consistently deliver a unique and high-touch experience that larger competitors can’t replicate. Hence, Kimana’s menu includes memorable “eclectic American” dishes like house-made tomato jam, cactus braised pork or portobello tacos, and the “Buzzed Doughnut” — a sweet sandwich with coffee-rubbed bacon, an over-easy egg, and a side of coffee-mocha dipping sauce.

When one of those dishes loses its luster, it’s important to discover why so customers don’t go elsewhere. A healthy bottom line depends on it.

“We’re located about four miles from the airport, so we get a lot of travelers looking for a local breakfast joint instead of a big chain like Denny’s or Waffle House,” Kimana says. “In addition to tourists, we attract the hipster crowd, little old ladies, regular locals, and barflies.

“They all come here for something original and different, and we do a nice job of delivering on what they want. Our staff is small — only about 10 people — but we’re all committed to offering a new twist on southern comfort food.”

Like most small business owners, Kimana puts most of her time and energy into delivering a great product and customer experience. So, she uses Womply to streamline the process of monitoring and responding to online reviews by receiving alerts when a review is posted and responding to reviews from multiple sites from a single place.

“I really try to stay on top of my reviews by acknowledging positive reviews and responding to the occasional negative one,” she says. “You have to take it all in stride and learn from it.”

That model is working for Junction Kitchen & Provisions, and it’s the new template for running a successful small business in the age of online reviews. If you’re in the Charleston, South Carolina area, be sure to stop at Kimana’s restaurant for a Monte Cristo sandwich, cornmeal fried catfish, glass of pinot noir, or of course, the famous biscuits and gravy (with sausage or mushroom gravy).

If you’re a small business owner, Womply can help protect your online business reputation so you can attract more customers. Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!


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