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How to Stop Getting Negative Online Reviews for Your Restaurant

Nov 2, 2020 | News

RestaurantRockstars Podcast

Stop Getting Negative Online Reviews for your Restaurant – RestaurantRockstars.com Podcast featuring Opiniator.

Stopping negative online reviews – is a major challenge for any restaurant. Moreover, any business. The negative review is a inevitably a surprise. Which means that the first thing you will be aware is after the event. This means zero chance of customer recovery or preventing the same experience to other customers. So what is the best strategy to prevent this happening?

It is always good catching up with Roger Beaudoin about anything to with restaurants. In the latest episode we discussed strategies to stop getting a negative online review, and how to turn on location negative feedback into staff empowerment.

The podcast is featured in his excellent website ‘RestaurantRockstars‘. Roger has been in the restaurant and hospitality businesses for years and provides excellent resources for all in the industry to improve. The podcast series is content rich and highly instructive.

RestaurantRockstars Stopping Negative Online Reviews

Negative Online Reviews – for Restaurants and Hospitality

We have written before about the power of positive online reviews, why comment cards for restaurants are a really bad idea, and even on ‘How Yelp reviews Can Disappear. On this podcast we discussed the financial impact of such reviews, then what are the best ways of preventing or preempting negative reviews ever getting online. In addition we gave some time to the components of a restaurant feedback system.

So just what is the impact of a negative review?

1) Social Media Impact

It is likely that a bad review will appear in Yelp or TripAdvisor before the restaurant knows it and have even had a proper notice to contact the customer. The social radius of some customers is very high – hence the big brand impact. There are different estimates of this radius, for example the White House Office of Consumer Affairs found that a dissatisfied customer tells between 9 to 15 people about their poor experience. Moreover 13 percent of those dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people. Perhaps a more alarming number is that dissatisfied customers tell a whopping 3,000 people! The conclusion is that major review sites and search engines will not be your friend here!

2) Financial Impact

Unfortunately, financial impact is equally profound. For example, companies in the US lose $1.6 trillion because of customers jumping to competitors due to poor customer service. We can help determine the economics of improving customer retention – in fact, we have an Excel calculator that can be downloaded so that any business can understand the impact on profitability and cash flow.

3) Reputation Impact

The impact of a bad experience or fake review has such a colossal impact with online reputation (current and future customers) that we produced a guide for managing relevant review sites particularly Yelp and Tripadviser. It covers how to deal with 1-star reviews from disgruntled customers and how to maximize the benefit of honest reviews.


Now we know the impact of poor service that could cause problems, what happens now? Specifically how does a restaurant stop getting negative online reviews and how to protect business reputation? There are several steps for business owners to help solve this and win back a positive reputation:

  • Allow the customer to deliver ratings at the restaurant. Point of experience restaurant feedback means greater feedback accuracy and a chance to act.
  • Make it super easy for them, using their own device
  • Ensure the feedback can be delivered without needing a name. An anonymous review still contains data – and might be preferable for the customer.
  • Surveys should be short – less than 2 minutes
  • Have any negative feedback send a short alert message to your team
  • Take immediate action on bad feedback from unhappy customers
  • Make your review response public if the customer’s is public.
  • Empower your staff to fix the issue and recover the customer – so turning negative experiences into positive reviews.
  • Have a similar process for staff to deliver internal feedback
  • Use the review as a source of business intelligence, rather than just a gripe. Even a bad customer review can lead to better business decisions.


Have a look at the full video of the podcast, and our discussion the use of Opiniator as a way to help eliminate negative feedback from ever getting to social media. Getting Customer Feedback for your Restaurant is critical – perhaps now even more so, but NOT at the expensive of poor and unexpected online reviews..

If you prefer to listen only – check out the recording on Soundcloud.

Again – thanks to Roger at @RestaurantRock1


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