Foodbuy Foodservice Offers Advice on Reputation Management


When you get reviews on Facebook or Google, do you usually read them or ignore them? While a negative review here and there may seem like a nonissue, bad restaurant reviews can have an impact on your business. Read on to learn how to handle negative online feedback and cultivate a positive presence online.

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Do Reviews Matter?

Negative reviews can have a big impact on whether new diners decide to visit your operation. You could be bending over backward to market to customers for them to skip your restaurant because of a poor review on social media.

Plus, search engine reviews can have an even larger impact on your business. Google takes business rating averages into account when showing businesses in search results. A three-star average could mean searchers don’t see your website until a few pages into search results – meaning most searchers may never even find it.

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How to Respond to Bad Restaurant Reviews


You know you want to mitigate the impact of bad restaurant reviews, but how? The first rule of online reputation management is to always respond to negative reviews. Whether they’re posted on Google, BING, or Facebook, a carefully crafted response will show that you care about your reputation and your customers.

When writing your response, try following this outline:

    1. Acknowledge the problem: show that you understand what upset the reviewer without judgment.
    2. Apologize: whether the reviewer is in the right or wrong, always apologize for their negative experience.
    3. Explain: if there’s more to the story than the reviewer mentioned, make sure to explain. This can provide insight into why the reviewer’s experience even occurred.
    4. Amend: offer an option to continue the conversation with the reviewer privately.

Here’s an example using these steps:

Hi, reviewer. We see that you were disappointed with your experience at Business Name because you felt that service was slow. We’re sorry that you didn’t enjoy your time dining with us. Because of the Valentine’s Day holiday, our team experienced a surge of visitors, resulting in longer wait times than average. We’d like to hear more about your experience and how we can help make this right. Please email us at [email protected] so we can talk more.

In some cases, responding appropriately may encourage the reviewer to delete their review. Regardless, your response will show other viewers of the review that you tried to fix the situation.


Cultivating a Reputation Management Strategy

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A healthy reputation management strategy can protect your business from the fallout of bad restaurant reviews. If you want to protect your business from negative responses, you’ll want to make sure you’re monitoring your online presence. That means looking at your business reviews on multiple platforms regularly. That way, you can spot and respond to bad reviews quickly.

You’ll also want to regularly encourage your guests to leave positive reviews. The more positive reviews your business has, the less impact the negative reviews will have. You can encourage good reviews by putting reminders to review on your menus and marketing materials. Some businesses even incentivize customers to leave positive reviews. However, this is considered controversial and should only be done when following Federal Trade Commission guidelines.


The best way to maintain a positive reputation online and in person is to provide an exceptional dining experience. Interested in how your procurement strategy can support a better guest experience? Contact Foodbuy Foodservice today.

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