How To Overcome A Bad Restaurant Review

When you work hard to run your own restaurant, it’s never pleasant to receive a complaint or a bad review. That’s why the key to overcoming any bad press is to stay positive and address the problem to make sure you don’t repeat your mistakes. Follow these steps and you can overcome even the worst restaurant review.

1. Apologize

The first step to moving past a bad restaurant review is to apologize immediately. Even if you don’t feel as if you’re in the wrong, admitting fault to a dissatisfied customer is more beneficial to your business in the long run.

In some cases, you may receive a bad review online, on a site like Yelp or Urbanspoon where it’s not easily possible to apologize to a customer. Do whatever you can to remedy these types of situations, but don’t stress about offering a personal apology if you can’t do so. The important thing is to apologize to customers when you can, and offer them a free meal or a discount to smooth over the incident.

2. Identify the Problem


How To Overcome A Bad Restaurant ReviewImage via Flickr by Eleaf

After you’ve apologized to a dissatisfied customer, take some time to identify what went wrong. Was the food’s quality not up to par? Did the wait staff treat them rudely? Is there a problem with the atmosphere or infrastructure of your restaurant?

Of course, some customers are unnecessarily difficult, and you may feel like you didn’t do anything wrong to deserve a bad review. While this situation certainly can happen, there’s usually at least something you could have done to prevent the problem from occurring. Be sure to think hard about any bad reviews and figure out what you can learn from them.

3. Fix the Problem


How To Overcome A Bad Restaurant ReviewImage via Flickr by oatsy40

Once you’ve identified the reason for a bad review, fix the problem immediately so it doesn’t happen again. Revamp the menu, buy new restaurant equipment, and do whatever you need to do to make your customers happy.

Failing to fix the problem in your restaurant will only bring you more bad reviews, so use these experiences to learn and move forward. Also practice good communication with your restaurant staff, and make sure everyone is on the same page about how to remedy the situation. Keeping up the team morale will go a long way toward helping you overcome any issues.

4. Redouble Your Efforts


How To Overcome A Bad Restaurant ReviewImage via Flickr by Muffet

Lastly, redouble your efforts to improve the public image of your restaurant. Reinforce and market your positive traits, and change the focus away from whatever negative press you may have received.

One way to regain customers is to be charitable and help out in your community. Donate food to good causes and let people know about it through marketing or the local press. You can also reach out via social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, which will help people connect more personally with your business.

Whatever you do, don’t let a bad review put your restaurant down and out. By following these steps, you can get over any bump in the road and be on track to getting more positive reviews in the future.