Restaurant Blogs

Tips on How to Handle Bad Reviews

Dealing with negative online reviews is important for any business, especially for restaurants! With customer sentiment analysis and online reputation management turn bad reviews into your advantage. Here are some tips to effectively handle negative reviews.

Handling bad reviews on the internet is crucial for any business but especially for restaurants as word-of-mouth and reputation both play a huge role in the success of a restaurant. Negative reviews can impact a restaurant's reputation, but responding to them thoughtfully and professionally can turn a negative situation into a positive one. Here are some steps you can take as a restaurant owner to handle bad reviews effectively and turn them into your advantage!

Be Objective

First things first try to not take it personally. It's natural to feel upset or defensive when reading a negative review, but it's essential to remain calm, open minded and not take the criticism personally in order to make it work for your benefit by trying to to see it as an opportunity to improve.

Secondly, assess the validity of the review. Try to evaluate the review objectively by looking at the reported problem through the customer’s point of view in order to determine if the customer's complaint is valid. If you can see that there is some truth to the negative feedback, take responsibility for any mistakes made and acknowledge them.

Always try to respond promptly and address the review as soon as possible. This will show to your current and prospective customers that you do take your customers’ feedback seriously and care about their experience genuinely.

Be Empathetic & Professional

The most important part of handling bad reviews is being able to show empathy towards your customers! Regardless of whether the complaint is valid or not, apologize for the customer's negative experience and show empathy. Let them know that you understand their experience, frustration and feedback. This will demonstrate that you're committed to always making it right and doing right by your customers. Learn more about it in Restaurant Loyalty and How It's Created.

The second most important part is addressing the issue at hand professionally. In your response, address the specific concerns raised in the review. Provide an explanation if necessary, and outline the steps you're taking to prevent similar issues from happening in the future. Depending on the situation, offer a suitable resolution to the customer's complaint which can be a refund, a discount on their next visit, or any other gesture to show that you value their patronage.

In order to keep using any feedback to your benefit you should encourage further feedback from your customers always. For this you need to let the customers know that you appreciate their feedback, whether it be positive or negative, and encourage them to provide more reviews in the future. This will show that you're open and committed to improving your restaurant based on your customers’ input.

Implement Feedback

Last and most crucial step to implement is to learn from the feedback from your customers. Since without this none of the above steps will be helpful or beneficial for you in the near future. Use negative reviews as an opportunity to identify possible areas of growth and improvement in your restaurant. Try to objectively analyze the common themes in negative reviews and take steps to address them so both your restaurant and your customers benefit from them.

An extra but very helpful step that you can do is continuing to generate positive reviews by encouraging satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, or TripAdvisor. Positive reviews can help balance out the impact of any negative ones, even if there are very few, and improve your overall online presence and reputation in order to attract more customers. To read more about online presence and marketing for restaurants you can check out our 5 Clever Marketing Tactics blog.

Always remember that potential new customers will often read the reviews before trying out a new place and also see how businesses handle negative reviews to assess their level of customer service. Responding professionally and constructively can demonstrate your commitment to your customers’ satisfaction and can even turn dissatisfied customers into loyal patrons!

DYNE helps restaurants build customer loyalty and enhance their brand reputation by allowing them to respond quickly and effectively to customer feedback, connect keywords to marketing campaigns, creating personalized coupons for devoted consumers and so much more. Book a demo or reach out to our team today with to see how you can drive engagement and enhance customer experiences with DYNE!

Written by
Gizem Keskin

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