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Should You Respond to Good and Bad Reviews Online?

Updated: Jun 21, 2020

As a restaurant owner, should you respond to online reviews, negative and positive?

Think about these two situations...

How does it feel like if you are standing in your dining room and somebody comes to you and says, "Hey, the wings were pretty cold, and the steak I had, it wasn't really how I wanted it to be, it's too salty, and your server wasn't friendly."

What will be your reaction if you are observing in your dining room and a person tells you, "Hey, are you the manager? I want to tell you that you have nice staff, this is our first time, we had a phenomenal experience, your food tastes so good and fresh."

In both cases, what do you think is the right thing to do? Are you just going to stare to that customer and not say a word? Or you are going to respond?

DEFINITELY YES, we must ALWAYS respond, and here are the 3 reasons why:

1. It is being human

Online and offline are the same, in both situations, we are dealing with people, we are dealing with our customers.

It doesn't matter whether it is in the "real world" or the "online world", these are human beings who came into our restaurants.

They gave us money, we served them our food and they had a good or bad experience.

They simply went home and put online whatever that they are going to tell us on our face.

They opted to communicate through the internet instead of saying it to us personally because they can do that now, this is the day and time we live in.

You must respond to every single communication that comes to you online, whether it is a review, a message, or any comment that is left on a post on your social media.

Any word that someone tells us, it is only natural and polite to simply answer back as a person, right? We are being people. However, we must also keep in mind to respond professionally no matter how bad the review or comment is.

2. It is a part of your brand

That is also part of your brand, by responding to each and every communications that you get online, you can stand out from others.

For instance, the big box company down the road is not doing it, Wings Stop or Pizza Hut, they don't do that, but you and I can.

So take advantage of the fact that you can reply or respond to every single communication that comes your way and to your restaurant, whether it is a positive or a negative review, a desirable or a hateful comment.

How will people react if they see that you respond to every review and comment that customers placed online?

They will definitely feel that you care, that you truly appreciate customer's time, money and effort, and that you acknowledge whatever issues they may have with your restaurant, and they will remember you for that.

These things matter a lot because it can establish what kind of name or brand you want people to view you as a business, what makes you distinct from other restaurants and people will love you for that.

3. It will help build a good reputation

In this day and age, one good or bad review that goes viral can make or break our reputation.

Your online reputation can be a reflection of your restaurant as a business so it will be absolutely valuable for you if you will be known for being responsive to online reviews, comments, and messages.

What kind of reputation would this reveal about you? This only shows that you genuinely care for your customers and that you value their business with you. This is clearly a service that goes above and beyond.

Overall, what we want for our restaurant is a good reputation because that will make us thrive in this extremely competitive industry, and part of that is having a good image online.

We can not control what people will tell about us, but we can definitely manage our restaurant to always provide exceptional food, and offer excellent service.

So that, we can get more good than bad reviews from our customers.

If you are not sure about how to respond to negative reviews, we have 7 steps that you can follow! Turn those negative reviews to repeat business, as well as templates that you can use to have a system in place that you can simply apply to your restaurant, please click on this link to download:


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