Nowadays, everyone wants to share their experiences – both good and bad.
Negative feedback about your restaurant is always tough to receive. But there is opportunity to turn the negative into a positive.
But why are restaurants so hesitant to respond to negative reviews? Yes, they are scary and sometimes the result of an angry customer mad about something out of your control like their favorite meal no longer offered due to the supply chain shortage, or service taking a little longer because the labor shortage has impacted your restaurant.
But negative reviews can be a great learning experience for restaurants and provide a look into areas that may need a little improvement.
Here are four ways you can manage negative reviews about your restaurant:
1. Respond Quickly
Acknowledging and respond to a negative review should be done within 48 hours. Waiting longer than that can give off the impression you don’t care about the experience your restaurant is giving your customers. Customers will appreciate
2. Be Empathetic
Don’t be defensive in your response. Most customer feedback is not supposed to be taken personally. Customers want to let you know if they had a negative experience in hopes that it will be improved before their next visit. Be empathetic in your response and understanding. Take a step back and apologize. If you put thought into your response, you can change your guests mind and possibly get them to update their negative review to reflect a more positive outcome.
3. Share the Feedback with Your Staff
How can you improve the guest experience when you don’t share the negative feedback guests are giving with your staff? Have a quick staff meeting everyday where you share both negative and positive reviews with your staff and discuss changes that can be made to correct the complaint and avoid any future issues.
4. Invite the Customer Back
Take the initiative to invite the customer back in. Show them that you took their feedback seriously and made the necessary changes to improve their experience. Ask them to consider returning for another visit for a discounted or free meal and embrace the opportunity to impress the guest and win back their loyalty.
Responding to negative reviews is a great way to improve your online reputation and win back customers. It doesn’t cost money and can improve your bottom line by bringing back those lost customers through your doors. It’s vital that you come up with a strategy to addressing the negative restaurant reviews you might be getting to show your customers that they are valued.