At 214 Interactive, our restaurant clients frequently ask, “what can I do about negative restaurant reviews?”
And it’s a great question.
Websites like Yelp or TripAdvisor are common touchpoints for potential guests looking to find out if your restaurant is worth their time and money. Negative reviews can be frustrating – and even angering- but there are ways to handle them gracefully and work them to your advantage.
1. Respond Quickly to Negative Reviews
Burying your head in the sand and ignoring negative reviews is not going to make them go away. Instead be mindful of when new posts occur and provide timely responses to help mitigate any damage. This does 2 things: 1) shows the reviewer that you genuinely care about their customer experience, and 2) shows potential guests that you take each customer experience seriously.
2. Keep Negative Reviews in Perspective
It’s hard not to get angry when a customer posts a negative review, but it’s important to remember it may not be as bad as the reviewer made it seem. Statistics show that people who create reviews tend to me more opinionated than the general population, and those reviewers tend to pepper their critiques with colorful ways to get noticed. Acknowledge the negative experience, learn what you can from their review, but try to keep it in perspective.
3. Learn from Negative Reviews
Negative reviews have a way of unearthing issues or problems you might not have been aware of! Use your customer reviews as an opportunity to glean feedback and improve your guest experience moving forward.
4. Apologize Publicly; Follow-up Privately
Respond to each negative review with your sincerest apologies, thanking the reviewer for their feedback, and reminding them that you are committed to a positive customer experience. From there, follow-up and address their specific concerns in a private message vs. the public forum. Go the extra mile and invite them back, urging them to ask for a manager when they arrive to ensure a positive guest experience.
Finding the time to track and follow-up with negative reviews can be challenging for any business. 214EATS – a division of 214 Interactive – specializes in restaurant marketing and online reputation monitoring. 214EATS Dashboard allows businesses to get notifications of any online reviews; however, many of our customers hire 214EATS to respond directly on their behalf. This timesaving tool has been a true game changer for many of our clients. As one recently said, “We have been able to reach many upset guests and win them back due to 214’s assistance.”
Call us today to get your restaurant on board with 214 Interactive and 214EATS!