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  • Writer's pictureShraddha Umrao

Ways to Manage your restaurant’s Online Reputation Management

Restaurant owners know that handling online reviews can be difficult, especially when it comes to dealing with negative reviews that come in on Instagram, Facebook, Google and Zomato. But, feedback is important to make sure you’re creating the best possible experience for customers at your restaurant. And, with the right mindset and the right strategy, you can get great insights and interaction through your restaurant’s online reviews to drive results for your business.

Responding to constructive criticism professionally and politely is how business owners can show their customers that they’re listening and that they care. The way you handle your restaurant’s online reviews can win over customers who might have had a less-than-perfect experience at your business.

Answer reviews as quickly as you can

Consumers today are likely to go to online review sites or social media platforms like Facebook to leave their feedback after having an experience at your restaurant — and they expect this to be a two-way conversation. They expect their issues to be resolved quickly. According to SocialMediaToday, 84% of consumers expect companies to respond within 24 hours after posting on social media. That can be tough while you’re running a business, so, try to respond within a few business days.

Answer all of your restaurant’s online reviews

Restaurant owners should keep in mind that it’s not just the negative online reviews that need responses. If you leave your positive reviews unanswered, you’re missing out on the opportunity to say thank you, lift your loyal fans, and build relationships with the customers who love coming to your restaurant. Show those reviewers some gratitude and invite them back for another visit!

Engaging with all reviews – positive, negative and neutral – is the best way to extend your customer service online.

It will go a long way with your customers if you interact with them and assure them that you’re dedicated to providing them with a fantastic customer experience at your restaurant every time they come to visit.

Keep calm and be professional

Whether you are responding to a positive or negative customer review on Zomato, Google, Facebook or Instagram, it’s important to craft a response that follows the rule of the “three S’s”: succinct, sincere and specific. Use the reviewer’s name and reference some of the details they included in their review to personalize your response.

When handling a negative review, stay calm and professional in your response. Keep in mind that this response is not only for the benefit of the reviewer but for anyone who might be visiting your page to check out your reviews and responses.

Show your online community that you care about making things right. Include a genuine apology and ask them to give you another try. Sometimes, you must defend your business against untrue accusations or misunderstandings, but make sure to do so as politely and professionally as possible.

Ask questions and investigate

A complaint or concern on Zomato or Google might not be something you were even aware of in-house. Almost 80% of complaints from consumers about restaurants are reported online rather than in person. When responding to a negative review or customer concern, ask questions. If you investigate the issue, you can get to the bottom of it and eliminate similar complaints in the future.

You also can reach out to your staff to get a better understanding of what might have occurred, and that will help inform your response to the customer.

If what a customer points out about your restaurant in an online review isn’t the norm, then it’s fair to defend your business in your response.

But if it does seem to be an error your business made, then apologize and ask for another chance to show the customer a better experience.

Flag reviews that are false, inflammatory or misleading

If you see reviews that seem to be for the wrong business, are false or contain inflammatory language, you can flag these reviews to get them removed from your page.

Review sites are community-driven, so they will likely allow most negative reviews to stand, as long as they appear to be honest representations of the business. But, most sites have the option to flag reviews that go against their community guidelines.

In conclusion

Keep these tips in mind when maintaining your restaurant’s online reputation and think of review sites like Zomato, Google, Facebook and Instagram as the best places to gather feedback and engage with your customers. They’re reaching out and looking for a response, so, impress them with your thoughtful replies. Authentic and personalized responses to your restaurant’s online reviews will go a long way toward building relationships and deepening customer loyalty.

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