No restaurant owner is okay getting a negative review. It’s like someone insulted your baby. You’ve worked hard to become the elite operator you are and when someone posts negative remarks it feels like a personal insult. We get it. But remember that we’re all human and everyone makes a mistake at some point. Still, it can be difficult to compose a professional response to a negative review, especially the ones that weren’t deserved.
First, remember that your response is not as much for the person that posted the review as it is for the next potential patron who is reading your reactions to negative reviews. Many people will sort the reviews by the negatives to see how an owner deals with criticism. Keep this point of view in mind when you are responding. It will help you craft a professional and unemotional response, that will convince the next person reading it that you are a reasonable owner, even when under the pressure of negative criticism.
Then, use T.A.P. – Thank, Apologize and Promise – to create a simple, professional response to any negative review. It looks something like this;
“Thank you for sharing your feedback. I apologize that your steak wasn’t prepared to your liking on your recent visit. Please give us another chance in the future. I promise that if you do you’ll experience the true quality we strive to deliver to every patron.”
This simple formula will make it much easier for you to respond to your negative reviews without getting emotionally charged and defensive. Give it a try and let us know how it works for you.