How to Improve a Restaurant’s Bad Reviews

Restaurants need to be aware of their online reputations. Restaurants can be particularly vulnerable to bad reviews online; and in the long term, bad reviews can shut down a restaurant for good. If your business has taken a beating around its reputation, here's how to improve your restaurant's bad reviews.

Read the Reviews Closely

It's not really fun to read negative comments, but it's important to see what your customers are saying to fix your restaurant's negative reviews. While some reviews will simply be rude and abusive for their own sake, others will offer you insight into how your restaurant is seen. Look closely for patterns: Are there problems with the staff? Do people dislike a specific dish? What are the general objections? If you find these problems and fix them, you will go a long way towards repairing your restaurant's bad online reviews.

Remove Abusive Reviews

Read the terms of service for each review website you're on, and if you feel a review violates them, flag it for review or contact the site directly. This won't guarantee that the review will be removed; that's up to the site where it's posted. But by calling the content to their attention, you can at least give yourself a better chance of improve your rating slightly and address your restaurant's bad reviews.

Reply to Bad Reviews

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For reviews that are reasonably written, do you best to reach out to the critic. Be polite and professional, and see what you can do. It may seem a bit counterintuitive, and you may not be able to do anything, but it's still important to get in touch.

First of all, if you can make it right, he or she might revise the rating or remove the review, although you shouldn't make this a condition of any attempt to make things right.

Secondly, it shifts the tone of the review page: Instead of having the occasional negative review, there's a back and forth between customers and the owner, and a demonstration that you care what others think, even after they've paid the check. That can go a long way towards mitigating bad restaurant reviews.

Begin Encouraging Good Reviews

You shouldn't explicitly ask customers for good reviews, or post good reviews yourself; both are generally a ticket to, at best, suspicious customers and at worst being blacklisted from the site. Instead, focus on making it easy for customers to review your restaurant. Post signs near the register or on the receipt mentioning that you'd love to be reviewed. Include links to the review sites on your social media presence and professional website. Positive reviews are the best way to improve your restaurant's bad reviews.

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And, of course, share positive reviews with your customers through social media. Customers always like that you're paying attention. It's also slightly flattering to know your favorite place for dinner cares what you think of it. As you encourage positive reviews, your ratings will improve and put the negative ones into a brighter context, drawing more customers to your restaurant.

If you need to repair your restaurant's bad reviews and need help to do it, contact ReputationDefender. Our reputation advisors will teach you how to use reputation management strategies to improve your reviews, and give you powerful software tools to monitor and react to reviews quickly. If your restaurant isn't getting a fair shake online, ReputationDefender can help you put your best face forward.

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