How to Deal with Bad Restaurant Reviews Effectively

One of the greatest restaurant promotors is word of mouth and in contemporary environment, it is e-word of mouth as well. E-word of mouth includes reviews about your restaurant on different online platforms such as Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Yelp and more. Although, it has been said that there is no such thing as bad publicity, but in case of restaurants there is a thing called bad reviews and bad publicity.

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One negative review about the food, environment, or restaurant’s behavior could potentially result in a lot of potential customers would refrain from going to your restaurant. Although, it is difficult to negate word of mouth, which is not online, but there are certain ways that you can employ to negate online and offline bad reviews. To find out how to deal with bad restaurant reviews effectively, please read below.

How to Avoid Bad Reviews?

An effective way to deal with bad reviews is to find a way to avoid them. For example, if you create an effective feedback process for your customers and ask them to review the food, service, and ambiance before they leave the restaurant, then you can find out if they are likely to leave a good or negative review. If they are likely to leave a negative review, then you should try offering them a complimentary improved service and apologize to them for their unpleasant experience. Offering a complimentary service can take you a long way, it can show the customers that you really care about how the customers feel at your restaurant and not only can you prevent them from leaving a negative review, but you are more likely to make them a regular customer. In addition, they might even be more compelled to leave a positive review and suggest your restaurant to their friends and family based on their positive experience.

However, sometimes it is impossible to avoid bad reviews and bad publicity is bound to happen and what that happens, you should adapt some useful tips and techniques to deal with the problem such as:

Find out the Cause

When someone is bashing your business on social media, your natural first response might be a need to fight back. However, we all know that is not how customer service works, so what you need to do is try and find the cause of the problem. Once you have figured out the root cause of the problem, then move on to:

Resolving the Problem

As mentioned earlier, nothing works better than an excellent customer service. If you can make your customer feel like they are important to you, then they are going to come back to you and even recommend you to their friends and family. Moreover, when you see a negative review online, if you try to solve the problem there by apologizing and asking the customer if there is any way you could improve their experience in the future. There are only two things that can happen, the customer will either tell you how you can improve their experience and you can do that to improve their experience, or they could leave some more bad remarks on the comments, which will help you negate the negative review. As someone who is adamant on ruining your image online and not taking any offers for improvement, they are likely to nullify the credibility of their review. So, try to be proactive and try to ease your customers as much as you can in order to show that you have an excellent customer service and really care about how your customers experience your restaurant.

Invest in Tracking

It is extremely difficult to keep track of all the places you have been talked about. However, there are some great apps and software that will let you know every time someone talks about your restaurant. So, according to your location, try to find the right software/app/website for your business so that you can find how your restaurant is perceived. This will help you gain an insight into what your strong points are and how you can improve your service for the future. Moreover, it will also help you find out about mediums you previously have not used for marketing your restaurant and help you build your marketing campaign.

Be in the Community

If you want to be perceived as a high-quality restaurant that cares about the community and giving back to the community, then you should find marketing opportunities for yourself. Being in the community will not only help you market your restaurant effectively, but it will also help you create a positive image of your restaurant which will automatically negate most of the bad publicity about you. One way to achieve this goal is to stay updated on local charity events, PR events and any other social events and then collaborating with different organizations and give them food for their events at discounted rates. You would be killing two birds with one shot with community engagement, one you would be marketing your restaurant and attracting potential partners and new customers, second you are investing in community services which automatically helps in reducing bad reviews.

Use Influencers

If your restaurant is dealing with bad reviews in general, then it is time to get in the game and find influencers in your area i.e. people who run food blogs and have high social media following. In contemporary environment, consumers are highly likely to make their purchasing decisions based on the recommendations from influencers. So, if there is one customer leaving a negative review but an influencer leaving a positive review and writing about your restaurant in a positive manner of the opinion of the influencer, it is automatically going to outweigh the bad reviews.

The key to deal with bad reviews is to find the source of bad reviews, keep track of the reviews online, improve your customer service, be proactive and offer complimentary services and use influential partnerships and online influencers to spread positive word of mouth about your restaurant.


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