How Restaurants Can Deal with Negative Reviews Online -
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How Restaurants Can Deal with Negative Reviews Online

Yesterday, we talked about how to get people to leave positive reviews about your restaurant.
We also suggested a method of showing people how to get directly to your Yelp page to leave a
comment while they’re sitting there in the restaurant. Admittedly, that’s a risk, because if someone
has a complaint, you’ve just made it easier for them.

Even if they waited until they got home to leave an angry comment, the damage has been done. So
how do you combat those negative reviews? Here are three steps you can take:

  • First, never, ever become combative. Even if the review says awful
    things, never retaliate in anger, use sneaky, underhanded tactics, or file a complaint with the service.
    That will make you seem like a petty bully, and only confirm the complaint.
  • Instead, apologize for the problems. Nothing is more disarming to an
    angry person than to receive an apology from the person they’re yelling at. They realize they were
    heard, and that they’re dealing with a real person.
  • Make it right. The person’s complaint is out there for everyone to see, and
    you can’t remove it. What you can do is let people see how you solve the problem. Ask for a chance
    to make it right, and offer a free replacement meal. This shows potential visitors that you care about
    your customers, even the angry ones. They think, “they helped someone who was angry; they’ll
    probably do a good job for me.”

If the other person continues to rant, even after your apology and generous offer, then you look
like the good guy, and the complainer looks like a whiny brat who just wants the attention. In either
case, you’ve controlled the damage and look like a good guy after all.


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