Reviews are an essential part of marketing your restaurant in the modern day. The only problem? They’re mostly out of your control. Mostly.

There are still certain practices that can help your chances at getting better reviews. Here are 7 tips to make sure your restaurant’s reviews are on the right track.

Don’t panic when you get a bad review. Even the best restaurant can end up with a bad review. It happens. Most customers won’t bat an eye at a bad review as long as it’s an outlier. Unless you’re getting consistently attacked for a recurring issue, you probably don’t have a problem on your hands.

Respond. Responding to reviews is sometimes necessary for managing your restaurant’s reputation. And fortunately, most major review sites allow you to respond to reviews. Take advantage of that ability and respond to every review. Sincerely thanking customers for sharing their positive feedback reflects well on your restaurant, and may even inspire the customer to return.

When responding, don’t criticize a review. Even if you believe a review is unfounded, resist the temptation to tear it apart. Take the time to apologize for the issue and address the complaints. Remember that the customer is always right. (Even when you may suspect that they’re not.)

Make it right. Start viewing bad reviews as an opportunity to improve. Offer a meal on the house. Offer to reach out to the customer privately by leaving an email or phone number to contact. Apologize and say that you’re working to fix the issue. Even if it’s just one negative review in a sea of glowing positivity, it still reflects well on you to respond. Remember, it’s an optics game.

Actually listen to negative reviews. It should go without saying, but don’t just say that you’re working to correct an issue. Do it. Like I said, negative reviews are an opportunity to improve your restaurant. You don’t want to wait until something is a recurring problem. You want to take care of it right away.

Let customers know which platforms you’re on. For example, if you’re in a touristy area, and you’d prefer to get more positive reviews on TripAdvisor, then make sure customers know you’re on that platform. If you want a sticker to place in your restaurant, TripAdvisor will even send you one for free. Click here to request one!

Remind customers to leave a review on the way out. If a member of your staff notices that a customer was particularly satisfied with their meal, they can remind customers to leave a review (and possibly even specify your preferred platform). Unless they’re avid reviewers, customers won’t always think, or even necessarily remember, to go online and write a review after dining. A reminder can go a long way.

Improve Reviews With CoGoBuzz

Looking to give your restaurant’s reviews the quality boost they need? You’ve come to the right place. Get better reviews easily and automatically with CoGoBuzz, our incredible state-of-the-art marketing service.

Leveraging powerful WiFi, SMS, and Email solutions, CoGoBuzz connects directly to your customers’ mobile devices, heightening engagement both in-store and out. Featuring a built-in custom landing page, accessed automatically through a one-time connection to the HotSpot, you can promote and incentivize customers to provide feedback. CoGoBuzz comes with a fully-digital, text-based loyalty program, allowing you to connect with your loyal customers wherever they go. Engage and reward them to help promote more positive reviews!

Click here to learn more about CoGoBuzz!

Does your restaurant have a strategy for getting better reviews? Let us know in the comments!