Restaurant Marketing Tips – Managing Your Restaurant’s Online Reviews:

On-line Restaurant Reviews

Tips for responding to on-line reviews

This is a very important Restaurant Marketing Tip that a lot of restaurant owners need to take note of. Maybe the reason they don’t is the pain they feel when they read On-line Reviews and see the negative things that some people have written about them, they don’t want to go back and look again.

However the problem with this is that 85% of people believe what they read in on-line review and take them into consideration when choosing where to dine. Now this is GREAT news if all of the reviews about your restaurant are positive… but then again who has only positive reviews? Not even restaurants with 3 hats or Michelin stars get all positive reviews, so you won’t either.

We all know that, ‘word of mouth’ marketing is very important and it’s a great thing to have going for you. Then consider on-line reviews in the same light. They have the same impact on your restaurant business. If the reviews are great, then that’s wonderful but if they’re not, you have to take care of them.


  • Check them every day.
  • Thank the good reviewers.
  • Manage bad reviews (by reaching out to the people who post them).

Despite the anger and frustration you will suffer at times, it is worth checking the review sites and responding to as many of the reviews as you can; the good, the bad and yes the ugly.


  1. Send a polite message back to the people who wrote bad reviews asking if they would contact you so that you can make up for what the problem was. Get them to PM you so the ongoing discussion does not go public.
  2. If they PM you ask for their phone number and call them, this alone can stop people taking things any further as they are now no longer anonymous keyboard warriors. If they want your number give it to them, the point here is to make things right. Remember these guys came to your place for a great experience and something went wrong. Most people just want to be heard and once they have expended that pent up energy they can become very reasonable and even sympathetic to the challenges you face too. However, even if they are totally unreasonable in their expectations there is something that can be learned from this.
  3. DO NOT ARGUE your point of view or defend yourself. This is not an opportunity to prove you are right and they are wrong… If you do that chances are they’ll go right back online and detail how you tried to make it all their fault. That is the exact opposite of what you are trying to accomplish here.
  4. Consider offering them the opportunity to come in again and let you make it up to them at your cost. If this is done successfully statistics show that people who have complained, been listened to and treated well on a second visit turn into raving fans. Think about it, wouldn’t you?
  5. Also please don’t forget to thank the people who leave a good review – child psychologists will tell you to reward the behaviours you want to see more of and in this instance it’s just the same.
  6. I know that doing this is not something that most people like to do but if you don’t, then the terrible reviews are what people will see and believed. However if they see you trying to make up for mistakes they will believe that you are a good business person doing your best to keep even unreasonable customers happy.

Restaurant Profits CEO, Coach and Author:
Howard Tinker

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