How To Handle Bad Reviews For Your Restaurant

Studies report that 88% of the customers have been influenced by an online customer service review when making a buying decision. Managing the online reputation of your restaurant then becomes important with online reviews slowly conquering and defining your brand’s image.

So to make a positive impact on your customer through the reviews posted online, here we have compiled few tips on how to handle bad reviews to help your customers make a firm buying decision.

Pay attention

Restaurants often make the mistake of overlooking the online review websites for reviews which constantly affects their restaurant’s reputation. The first step towards handling bad reviews is becoming active on all the online review platforms like Yelp, Zomato, TripAdvisor and Google to monitor the reviews your restaurant receives.

The three A’s of handling bad reviews

After you have become active on all the online review sites, follow the three As of Acknowledge, Accept and Apologise to effectively handle the poor review received.

  1. Acknowledge: Take notice of what the reviewer has said. A lot of times, the review can make you angry. Don’t be in a hurry by giving into the emotions of defending your image through immediate replies.You would definitely not want to indulge yourself into a comment-war with your customer. Rather, think over what the customer has reported. Investigate into the issue by talking to your employees and see if the complaint is a legitimate one.
  2. Accept: Once you have taken into account all the ifs and buts of the situation, accept. Accept the committed mistake by thinking of an effective solution. A lot of times you will notice that the review isn’t a legitimate one and it was an infuriated online bully. Relax, and resolve to reply politely with utter professionalism. Make sure that while writing a reply, you don’t leave a room for misinterpretation.
  3. Apologise:: While apologizing to your customer, make customer service your priority by providing him with a solution. Don’t forget that how and what you reply will contribute to your brand’s reputation and establish trust amongst your target audience. Moreover, it will set you up as a brand which cares for its customers.

Restaurant Customer Service Limetray

Draft a polite response, providing the reviewer with an explanation if necessary and appreciate the opportunity you received to make things right. Provide the reviewer with your name, phone number and email address for him to get in touch with you, if necessary.

Follow up

Your job isn’t over by providing your customer with a solution. Follow up with him/her, inquiring if he/she is happy with the resolution. If not, ask what you can do for them. This makes the customer feel being cared for even after the disappointing services.


Manage feedbacks

Having your own online feedback platform is one of the ways to handle reviews. It saves you from a spoilt rapport by letting you handle the reviews received even before someone posts them on Zomato, Yelp, TripAdvisor or Google.

A feedback platform also contributes to your brand credibility by letting people know that you care for their review and wish to provide the best of customer services.

Loop Feedback system for Restaurants

With above tips to help you handle the bad reviews effectively, you also need to remember that they contribute to the authenticity of your brand. A study by Harvard Business School found that the majority of customers trust reviews more when they see a mix of good and bad feedback.

So having just good and pleasant reviews about your restaurant can appear fake. Appreciate the customer who gives you a feedback and invite him to experience the implemented changes if his experience with you was disappointing.

Riya Jain

Riya Jain

Riya is a Literature graduate working as a content strategist. You can find her reading The Little Prince and listening to the Passenger and Seafret in her free time.