Approximately 94% of diners consult internet reviews to determine where to eat. Therefore, it is essential to give online reviews the attention they deserve and respond to restaurant reviews in a manner that looks professional and empathetic.
This attention to online reviews should also extend to bad restaurant reviews, which every restaurant at some point or other has to deal with.
A poor response to a bad restaurant review can result in one of the following incidents:
- The customer takes a screenshot of your aggressive reply, it is likely written in a condescending manner
- The review is circulated on third-party websites that maintain B2B ratings.
- The customer can also share the review on social media pages. If it goes viral, that’s another case of bad PR to deal with.
Here are some steps on how to respond to restaurant reviews:
1. Personalize Your Response to Negative Restaurant Reviews
Begin your reply with a customized address, which might be as easy as addressing the reviewer by their listed name.
You may make the answer even more personalized by including detailed information from the reviewer’s experience.
This demonstrates that your message isn’t generic but that you value every customer who walks through the door, purchases a meal to go, or orders from your restaurant online.
2. Thank Them for Their Feedback
Even if the review was negative, you should thank the person who took the time to write it.
Such reviews allow you to improve your services while also identifying concerns you would not have seen otherwise.
3. Express Regret and Empathize
It’s critical to treat your visitors with respect and to make them feel valued.
You want to show them that you understand their concerns by empathizing with them.
Customers want to apologize and be informed if their experience fell short of the restaurant’s traditional standards.
Nobody wants to eat at a restaurant that refuses to acknowledge its flaws, let alone compensate its customers for the trouble it faced.
Mistakes can be made at any time, and it’s critical to accept responsibility for them.
4. Talk About The Solution
When replying to bad restaurant reviews, including details about current attempts to enhance or improve the experience. Offering a complimentary item or meal, a refund, or a discount would be a sincere compensatory gesture.
You may say that you’re looking into methods to improve the customer experience of your restaurant if you don’t have any specific plans in the works.
This isn’t merely an empty promise, as this damages a company’s relationship with its customers and its reputation.
5. Keep It Confidential
In order to respond to restaurant reviews in an effective manner we always recommend keeping the communication confidential.
To promote a private dialogue with the reviewer, include an email address or other contact information in your response.
This demonstrates that you’re prepared to devote as much time to resolving their issues.
Keeping the chat on a private communication channel such as Facebook inbox, Instagram direct message, or email can prevent things from spiraling out of hand on a public forum.
6. Don’t overreact when you receive a negative restaurant review
An important step while responding to negative restaurant reviews is to hit the pause button and take a deep breath.
This will help you get in control of your emotions, and allow you to think critically about what you’re going to say.
Remember: It’s not going to help anyone if we all jump into our immediate, emotional responses right away!
7. Take your time planning your response to a bad restaurant review
When responding to bad restaurant reviews, it’s important to take your time and plan your response carefully. However, don’t let the process bog you down.
Write out your thoughts in a clear and concise fashion, then take a break so you can come back with fresh eyes.
By taking this approach, you’ll avoid reacting emotionally or being reactive in the heat of the moment while responding to bad restaurant reviews!