We live in an informed & demanding world where perceptions are not only quickly formed but are also instantly shared online through several available social networks and apps that host user reviews. These reviews help drive business in the restaurant industry, where people expect instant gratification, and failure to do so has immediate consequences.

A study published in the Economic Journal, which based its research on 300 restaurants, shows that an extra half-star rating, caused a restaurant’s 7pm bookings to sell out from 30% to 49%.

Negative feedback and criticism is  a part of most business, as no one expects perfection and only positive testimonials about your service on reading customer reviews. But having said that, even one bad review can prove catastrophic for your business.

So, what can you do to ensure that the review of your restaurant is impeccable? You can’t! It is what you do about the review that defines the ideology and character of your restaurant.  


Turn negative review into an opportunity

When addressing a negative review, remember that you are not only trying to retain the guest who has reviewed you, but also potential customers who will be reading it.  70% of internet savvy people are influenced by reviews, so use this opportunity to address the negative review with some positive action, as this will help build your brand image.

Exercise wisdom & do research on the issue

Act quickly, but also ensure that you have read the review carefully & done due research on the issue. Reading aloud several times will make you understand the customers tone and frustration better. A hasty response on the other hand will just make you look defensive & lacking in empathy, resulting in a lost customer.

Use negative reviews to grow your business

Yes, you read that right. A negative review can also help you grow your business. But for that, you have to keep few things in mind. Don’t take reviews personally. The feedback given is for your service, which can help you survive & thrive by fixing  them immediately. An honest acknowledgement makes the customer feel important and heard, and also saves you from losing business.

The important thing to bear in mind is that online exposure of your business is widespread and with new sites being launched every day, you can be listed in more places than you can monitor.

While you can do regular searches on Google to see what is being said about you on which platform, it is recommended & time-saving to invest in a mobile friendly app which can provide you a single dashboard to display & monitor all your reviews. This will ensure that you take action at the right time and pay attention to unattended feedbacks, which have the potential of ruining your reputation in the industry.

At the end of the day, feedback both negative and positive is just another way to engage with your customer. The question is how are you using it to your business advantage?