If you own a restaurant, a large art of marketing your business and its marketing is to manage and keep track of what other people like or don’t like about your restaurant and what they are saying about it. This is true whether you are opening a brand new restaurant or you have a well established restaurant.
Reviews on things like Yelp and TripAdvisor and other review based platforms can make or break restaurants so it is important to manage and watch these reviews. Negative reviews and even those that are not entirely positive are totally inevitable but it is how you respond or manage them that is important.
Responding to negative reviews can be crucial in managing your reputation and in turning sceptics into return customers. You shoud never write customers off or call it a wash because you can never be sure who they know or who they are and what sort of network they may have. When someone leaves a negative review, you should respond in a timely manner. This means responding within the first 48 hours to demonstrate that your guests are a priority and that you are listening. Further, what you say is as important as how fast you respond. Try using a level of personalization when responding and try and avoid a generic response as it can come off as inpersonal and can make the situation worse. Try having as personal of a response as possible without dedicating your entire day to responding to negative reviews.
Respond to positive reviews too! Rewarding and thanking customers for leaving positive reviews is as important as responding to negative reviews. This motivates people to continue to leave comments and helps your restaurant seem relatable and once again, like you listen.