Imagine that you’re the PR for a certain restaurant. Your job entails bringing customers in, getting the word out that your restaurant is the place to be and manage the social media, at the very least. But when people are looking to eat somewhere nice, like this past restaurant week, where do they look? Many don’t want to waste time trying this and that restaurant, they want to go somewhere that is a tried and true great restaurant, so they look at reviews. Websites like Urbanspoon, Yelp! and Google make it very easy to rate restaurants. But sometimes, people are biased. Some are paid to write fake reviews, or dislike a certain someone at that restaurant or sometimes they honestly didn’t enjoy their experience at your restaurant. So what do you do to manage these messages? Below are some tips:
- Join the conversation: While it may be daunting to subject your restaurant to reviews that you won’t have any control over, ultimately it will give your restaurant more credibility. When people are looking for a restaurant to go to, they’re looking for places with a good amount of reviews that are (of course) mostly positive.
- Face the negative: If your restaurant is getting negative reviews, avoid getting defensive. I personally love it when the company moderators respond to negative reviews by attempting to solve the problem. Customers will be much more likely to return after seeing that you made an effort to fix a negative experience. The best case scenario is that after returning, the customer will amend their review.
- Don’t be so fake: While review sites are a great way to get the buzz going about your restaurant, it can also attract fakes and trolls who will post ridiculous claims just for kicks. Review sites are all about public perception, and although you are making your best efforts to be transparent, sometimes you have to protect your online protection and report the fakes.