No matter how much of a great venue your restaurant reflects and the many delicious and fun dishes you serve up, more than one bad review will hit your restaurant. Consider reviews as free marketing for your business, but reviews can be positive or negative. While positive reviews are desirable for encouraging dining, bad reviews can impact your restaurant by acting as a deterrence. Since a negative restaurant review is practically inevitable, you must have an appropriate response ready. How do you handle a bad restaurant review? Here’s a quick look at some tips to keep in mind.
Remain Calm and Avoid Inappropriate Response
A review can sting and may make you feel like your business is being attacked, but do not overreact. Keep your emotions in check and remain calm. Have a clear and level head before you write a response. Put feelings of hurt and anger aside and carefully think about what the reviewer is expressing and what the appropriate response should be. By not panicking at the bad review, you can respond appropriately. Stay calm because it’s unlikely that a bad review will simply put an end to your restaurant.
Draft a Response and Have a Second Set of Eyes Look at It
Draft a response to the review, but before pressing the send button, have someone look it over. A scathing review can leave you with distaste and it could be tempting to respond irrationally and unprofessionally. You want to avoid a retaliatory response. After writing your response, get a second look at it to ensure that it’s appropriate and objective. If you’re feeling unsure about the appropriate response, consider delegating the response to a capable member of your team.
Think of a Few Ways to Fix the Problem
A bad review tends to highlight a problem and if a reviewer complained about the food or service, for example, seek to address the problem. It’s possible that the complaint is valid and the last thing that you want is another reviewer to share the same sentiment. If a negative pattern is established, it could keep patrons away from your restaurant. Think about the problem the reviewer has highlighted and some ways that you can resolve the issue. Maybe the complaint is regarding long wait times. You can communicate with your staff about how they can limit wait time for patrons by working more efficiently and avoiding food mix-ups.
Offer a Solution You Believe is Fair for Both Parties
Your response to the reviewer’s complaint will show if you care or not. After thinking of a few ways to resolve the complaint, if necessary, offer a solution that you believe is fair for both parties. Be receptive to the reviewer’s feedback and perhaps, take the conversation offline and show that you take the matter seriously. Express to the reviewer why the issue occurred and the actions that you are taking or have taken to fix the problem. Invite the customer back with the added incentive of a free appetizer, dessert, or drink. Convince the reviewer to give your restaurant a second chance.
Expressing Willingness For Further Discussions
Begin by thanking the reviewer for visiting your restaurant and sharing their opinion about their dining experience. Despite the negative review, express gratitude to the customer who chose your restaurant over others in the area. “ Addressing the reviewer by name personalizes your response and humanizes the interaction that’s happening online. If needed, share your willingness for further discussions about the problem encountered while dining.
Bad reviews don’t have to plague your restaurant if you have the right team to guide you. Avery Restaurant Consulting is here to provide you with the perfect solutions to help you grow your restaurant. Contact us for any restaurant inquiries!