…Survive a bad restaurant review

…Survive a bad restaurant review

Whether you run a restaurant, cafe or bistro, a negative review/blog always feels personal.  As you read the words of your customer, I am sure you can feel your heart sinking in your chest and your defense mechanisms turning on.

In truth, a review, good or bad is simply a way to learn more about your business from your customer’s eyes.  Like many things in life, the most important thing is not the information you have received, but how you handle it.  Here are some quick tips that may help you survive a bad review.

Check the facts before you respond.  This not only gives you time to investigate, but also ensures you have time to think about the most appropriate response for the outcome you would like.  In some instances, the customer may have a very valid point.

Honesty is always the best policy and it’s ok to admit that an apology is in order.  One of the quickest ways to get in front of a negative story is by taking responsibility and announcing your plans to correct the issue.

Respond to the customer.  Your goal here is to defuse the complaint and turn an unhappy customer into a happy one.  Start your communication by thanking the customer for their feedback.  Stick to the facts and let the customer know what you have found out, and how you plan to rectify this for next time.

You may even find it appropriate to invite them back for another meal so they can see the changes you have made.  Re-read what you have written before sending any form of communication, and ask yourself the question, “Will this get me the outcome I am looking for?”  If yes, send.

Increase the frequency of your own marketing.  Nothing buries a story quicker than several new stories.  Give your customers plenty of positive news items to focus on, and it quickly puts one bad review into prospective.

 

Your Partner in Foodservice

Angela Hird

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