The disgruntled customer: it’s an eventuality every restaurant will have to face. For one reason or another, every establishment encounters a patron who has a bad experience and who takes their complaints to the Internet review site of their choice. Whether it’s Yelp or TripAdvisor, these reviews carry real weight in a world where 81% of smartphone users said they used their smartphones to compare restaurants before choosing a place to eat (according to an NRN survey). That’s why it is truly to a restaurant’s advantage to learn how best to handle bad online reviews. In fact, if done correctly, restaurants can even turn negative press into positive marketing. Here are 5 steps to dealing with bad online reviews of your restaurant.
1. Keep Tabs on Your Reviews
The first step in handling negative reviews is to know what people are saying about you. While, yes, it is easier to stick your head in the sand and believe everything is peachy keen, it’s better to accept that people are probably talking about your restaurant. And the fact is, it’s better to know what they’re saying. Search Yelp, Urbanppoon, LocalEats, TripAdvisor, Zagat, Dine.com, and other review sites and mobile apps to find your restaurant and read comments and stories from reviewers. You may also receive reviews on Twitter or Facebook if your restaurant is active on social media.