7 Strategies on How to Handle Negative Reviews That You Can Start Doing Now

 In 8. Guest Bloggers, Communication, Employees, Leadership, Public Relations, Restaurant Management

Bad news always travels fast and with access to a large variety of online rating sites, dealing with poor reviews can be difficult.

However, negative reviews should always be seen as opportunities to improve.

Here are 7 strategies to manage to take advantage of negative reviews.

When you read a bad review, take a deep breath. Do not take the comment personally. Read through the entire review and pinpoint what it was exactly that led the customer to have a poor experience. See the issue for what it was, but do not let it throw off the rest of the service because you’re upset.


Respond quickly. It can be good practice to not respond to negative reviews the instant you see them, in order to let the emotions pass, but you must not wait too long before replying. Try to respond within 24 or 48 hours at the most.

Make sure you reply to every review. Never leave a negative review unanswered just because you’re too angry about it, or it’s a minor complaint. When customers see the restaurant has tried to rectify the situation, no matter how big or small, the negative impact of the initial review is already diminished. Always thank customers for their good reviews, too! Let them know you’re grateful that they not only chose to dine with you, but were kind enough to share what a great experience they had.

For social media reviews, respond to the complaint publicly, but ask them to message you personally in order to get more detail about the situation. You are letting everyone know you want to fix the problem, but by sending you a private message, it not only prevents more details being exposed publicly, but it also helps build personal connections with your customers, and makes them feel like you really care about them individually.

Begin each response with a sincere apology. Include details from the review to avoid seeming like a cookie-cutter response. Then, offer a possible solution and ask the customer if there is anything else they think you could do to make the situation even better.

Have one person in charge of responding to reviews. Choose someone who can see the issues objectively without letting their emotions get in the way, and also has the time and availability to respond to the complaints quickly. This also helps maintain a cohesive tone to the company, as the response quality and attitude will not vary.

Use Google Alerts to stay on top of your reviews. Stay in the loop about conversations happening not only about your restaurant, but also your chef, bartender, managers, etc.

These tips can not only help you improve your customer reviews and give positive attention to your establishment but it can also draw customers into your establishment.

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