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What Makes Customers Leave Bad Reviews Online

Updated: Jun 21, 2020

As restaurant owners, it is crucial for us to know what urges our customers to leave negative reviews.

Because once we understand those, possibly we can do better not to give them a bad experience that caused them to give us poor comments or unwanted reviews online which can tarnish our reputation.

Studies have shown that customer complaints can be generally identified into three categories:

52% of Service issues

31% of Product issues

16% Policy issues

1. Service issues

How people perceived our service should matter to us because that remarkably matter to customers.

Are we greeting them? Having that first impression, smiling, greeting, farewelling customers, thanking them for coming in, those are the basic restaurant etiquette for servers.

A polite server that is friendly and shows gratitude can absolutely make customers happy and satisfied.

2. Product issues

For instance, you want to order a steak, you want it medium and then it's well done or so rare, or a pizza you ordered without black olives but came to you with extra black olives you didn't want.

You get disappointed, you get frustrated because you paid for that.

Order accuracy is very significant.

It is critical to have quality control checkpoints in different phases of our restaurant to make sure that we are catching all those issues and avoid mistakes.

3. Policy issues

You have to know your policies when it comes to customers because it is very critical. There is a reason they're there, but be quick to make an exception to customers and let them know about it.

For instance, one of our policies is we stop delivery at 8 PM on weekdays. A lot of times, customers are calling at 7:59 PM.

Maybe a server needs to put them on hold to attend on some other things, and then by the time they go back and it's like 8:02 PM, the server will realize that it is already the cutoff for delivery.

So just imagine how the customer would feel and react in this situation if we deny them of having the chance to order the food they want because we need to adhere to our policy.

So instead of saying no, we can tell a customer, for example, "Ma'am, we usually do not allow that, but we are happy to make an exception for you" or "I understand that we don't usually accept deliveries past 8 PM but we are happy to make an exception for you at this time."

Those words really go a long way. People will feel like they are special.

Know your policies but also keep in mind that the restaurant business is a highly competitive industry. For instance, we close at 9 PM, if customers walked-in at 8:59 PM or 9:05 PM, we instructed our staff not to turn down business.

Customers are standing there with money in their hands, they are hungry and they are coming to us, then we have to serve them.

When it comes to policy issues, we need to know when to discern.

We must distinguish when we can be a little bit lenient with our policies when dealing with our customers to serve them better and to show that we value them a lot.

Customers would not appreciate it when we are very rigid with our policies and we don't accommodate their needs.



Having to deal with these 3 different issues can be really stressful if we don't know how to respond to each one of them.

That is why we need to understand what customers want to see when we handle their complaints. They want to seek our 100% attention to serve their needs.

We must always provide them with a service that goes above and beyond for us to get rid of those negative reviews and win our customers' trust and loyalty.

Let us help you manage your online reviews better, we have a 7 step template as to how we respond to negative reviews, please click on this link now to download:


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