negative reviews

Minimizing the effects of negative reviews on your restaurant

Negative reviews can hurt your reputation and affect your bottom line. While you can’t just delete the reviews you don’t like, there are ways that you can mitigate the effect they have on your business.

Do reviews really matter? In short, yes. 85 per cent of customers treat reviews like they’re recommendations from friends and family, and with each increased star on a yelp review, a restaurant’s revenue raises anywhere from five to nine per cent.

It’s important to do everything you can to discourage negative reviews and to address them appropriately for the sake of your business.

Respond to reviews

Many people who leave a negative review simply want to be acknowledged and with a sincere response and a proposed solution, they will return to your restaurant.

Even if you dispute the claims made in the review, refrain from doing battle online; It can make your business look bad to potential customers. Instead, leave a short response acknowledging the review and noting your intention to take the conversation offline for resolution.

Receiving a response may make the reviewer happy but it can also translate to new business. When potential customers see a public response, they know you’re open to improving your customer experience. This approach may also encourage customers to speak up during their visit rather than waiting to go online later with their complaints.

Encourage positive reviews

Positive reviews will boost your restaurant’s overall rating and take attention away from negative reviews.

Respond to these reviews too! Often customers don’t take the time to leave a review unless the experience is negative, so be sure to appreciate those customers who want to show you the love.

How can you encourage more customers to leave positive reviews? Make it easy for your customers to sing your praises with a link in an e-blast, a prompt on your website, and even verbally requesting reviews during their visits.

RELATED: Why you should solicit more online reviews

Monitor all reviews

Automation tools can help you maintain some control over your online brand. There are programs to help you optimize one review site over another, alert you to reviews so you can respond and share, and can let you know about any social mentions you need to see.

Staying in the know, minimizing negative reviews, and getting as many positive reviews as possible, is how you can boost your reputation, develop a loyal clientele, and build your online brand for your restaurant.