Reviews can make or break a restaurant.
If you’re a restaurant owner, you might have a dread of negative reviews. You know that a single negative review on sites like Yelp and Google My Business going viral can destroy everything that you have worked so hard for at your business.
The good news is that there are things that you can do when your restaurant is hit with bad reviews. In the next few minutes, you will learn ways on how you can deal with negative restaurant reviews.
It’s important to monitor your online reviews on your social profiles or through a restaurant management system that offers reputation management. As a restaurant owner or manager, you should do everything you can so as not to get negative reviews. Try to do everything right, serve delicious food, provide excellent service, and keep your place clean all the time.
But even if you do all those things, you can still expect to get some bad online reviews. The problem is that you cannot please everyone. No matter how delicious your food or how well you treat your customers, there will always be someone who will not be satisfied with your service.
What can you do then?
The answer, of course, is not stopping to care. You should always care. The important thing is for you to know how to respond. If you know the right way of answering to negative reviews, you could even turn that around and turn it into a favorable opportunity for you.
Here’s how to respond to negative restaurant reviews in 5 easy steps
1. Don’t Be Antagonistic
If you could not do the other things that we have listed, then at least don’t fight the reviewer. Nothing good will come out of it. Even if the words that were written are not right, being antagonistic against the reviewer is not going to do any good. Be courteous when you are answering the negative things written about your restaurant.
The customer is always right, not because they are necessary, but because they can do a great deal of damage with things like reviews. This is even truer today when everyone can publish their reviews online through the internet.
When you get a negative review, you should apologize and empathize with the reviewer. You need to convey that you understand the situation and that you are open to learning from them.
After you apologize to the reviewer for the bad experience in your restaurant, the next thing to do is to reiterate the problem or problems that were identified in the review. Why is that important?
Reiterating the problem is crucial because it would show that you identify the problem and that you are willing to fix it. It means you are acknowledging that there is something wrong. To reiterate it, all you must do is state the problem as you understand it.
4. Fix it
After you have restated the issue or issues in question, the next stop is for you to fix the problem. You don’t stop at admitting that there is something wrong, you also need to show that you are going to act to fix it.
Now, when you fix the problem, you must show it. You must publish it online, so people can see that you are working on taking care of the problem. That would indicate to the public that you are listening to customers and you are willing to improve to serve them better.
5. Invite the Reviewer
Once you have fixed the problem that was identified by the reviewer, try to invite him/her back to your restaurant. Tell the reviewer that you want a second chance.
By being courteous and nice to the reviewer, there is a good likelihood that you will get a second review which is more favorable. That could negate the bad publicity that your restaurant has received. Just keep in mind that before you invite back the reviewer that you must have fixed the problem already.
In summary, these are the things that you can do when it comes to responding to a negative review of your restaurant. You cannot stop negative reviews from being made by people. The best thing that you can do is to respond to it in the right way so that you can minimize the damage and if you do things well, turn it into a favorable opportunity.