A restaurant needs to worry about its reputation management a bit more than other businesses. After all, eating is something we all have to do and we all want to enjoy, and if customers are unhappy about putting your food in their mouths, well, it’s not long before you’re shutting down the kitchen for good. So, if you need to fix a restaurant’s bad reputation, here’s what to do to turn it around.
1. Read the Reviews and Complaints Carefully, and Change Accordingly
Why do you need to repair your restaurant’s reputation? Do they dislike the food? Do they wish the staff was more courteous? Do they think the decor could be improved? There are dozens of reasons customers might complain, so you need to look closely at their statements as to why, and directly address those problems as quickly and openly as possible. If people state they have a problem, and you make it right, it will do wonders for improing your restaurant’s reputation.
2. Once You’ve Improved, Advertise
If you’ve given your business an overhaul, don’t keep quiet about it; take out ads in the community. For example, if there were concerns about the quality of the food, and you’ve shifted entirely to local suppliers, you might announce your restaurant is proudly serving food straight from the area. If you’ve hired a new staff, you might introduce him to the community. Get the word out, and you might be surprised how quickly your restaurant’s image is fixed.
3. Run Promotions
The truth is that if you can’t appeal to somebody’s better nature, you probably can appeal to their wallet. If customers can save a little money dining at your restaurant, they’re more likely to give you a chance. Make promotions a part of your restaurant reputation management strategy, and you might be surprised just how many people show up to try you again.
4. Be Accessible And Encourage Positive Reviews
You’d be surprised how often a complaint can be addressed on the spot, or how willing customers are to offer candid feedback if you ask for it. Consider including survey cards to be handed out with the checks or placed next to the register, and read any card submitted closely. If you want reviews online, consider posting notes pointing customers to your review pages. The more opportunities you give satisfied customers to review you, the more likely they are to take those opportunities, and the more your restaurant’s online reputation will improve.
5. Relaunch as a New Place With a New Name
As drastic as it may sound, if your reputation is really badly off, you might consider simply getting rid of your current name and decor, and trying again as a different restaurant. You’ll need to clarify that it’s under the same management, or else find yourself accused of a bait-and-switch, but if you make some major changes, a new name and style can reflect those accordingly.
If you’re not sure how to fix your restaurant’s bad reputation, try working first with ReputationDefender. We’ll show you how to recruit happy customers as advocates and handle attempts to smear your business online. So, don’t let all your hard work be summed up by others: Contact ReputationDefender today.