Table des matières

How to respond to a bad restaurant review

Whether it’s through social media or any other platform that lets people share their opinions, today your customers have many ways of communicating their negative experiences. It happens to everyone, even the most popular restaurants. But, as these reviews influence 87% of people trying to decide where they want to eat next, it's best not to ignore them. By knowing how to handle them, you can even transform a negative comment into a genuine opportunity.

How to reply to a negative comment about your restaurant How to transform criticism into opportunity

To help you understand why your customer is unhappy and improve the situation, we've got 5 tips to help you react in the right way.

How to respond to a bad restaurant review

Whether it's on TripAdvisor, Google Reviews, a delivery platform or social media, you can use a consistent structure to respond to a bad restaurant review. 

Monitoring and replying to reviews of your restaurant will help improve the visibility of your business.

3 key words to remember: 

  • Reactive (respond quickly to show you're interested to better understand what might have happened)

  • Courteous (never take a comment personally, be polite) 

  • and... Concise (a short reply that is straight to the point is better than a novel).

The ideal reply structure:

1. Address the person using their first name (or username)

A personalised reply has more chance of getting the recipient's attention; they will see that their message has made an impact. Who should reply?It's best to reply in the manager's name. The customer needs to feel important.

2. Always thank the customer for their message in the first line

After all, constructive comments also help you improve your service.

3. Apologise

Show that you really are sorry for the inconvenience and/or not meeting the customer's expectations. 

4. Go back over their response

If specific issues are raised by the customer, address them. Music too loud? You'll make sure to turn it down. An unfriendly waiter? They have been spoken to etc.

5. Invite the customer to return

This may seem strange in responding to a negative review but you have nothing to lose. 

It's always possible to bounce back and turn the negative into a positive. Suggest that the customer place another order with a discount to apologise for the inconvenience.

Why not offer them a discount code?

It has been proven that if a customer receives a reply from a restaurant together with a discount code (-15% on their next order, for example) after complaining about something, they are 23.2%* more likely to come back than if they didn't receive a reply.

*Source: Uber Eats, data collected 1-30 August 2020.

Sample response to a negative comment

Hello [name/username],

I'm [first name], manager of [restaurant name]. Thank you for taking the time to bring this problem to our attention. 

Customer satisfaction is very important to us. We have taken your feedback into account and will do our best to ensure that this problem does not reoccur. 

We would be delighted to welcome you back to our restaurant for a much better experience. You can contact us at [email] to better understand what happened and so we can find a solution that suits you (a discount code, for example).

Please accept our apologies, 

The [restaurant name] team.

Liza Giraud