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Your restaurant’s reputation management is important to your business. This includes managing your Yelp reviews, by customers that have left good and bad feedback.

The Basics

“88% of consumers are influenced by online reviews. If you have negative ones showing up for branded/direct searches, kiss that customer goodbye.”

When it comes to Yelp reviews for your restaurant, there is no hiding. They can make or break your business.

If your business is getting bad reviews, whether they are deserved or not, it may have a significant impact on your bottom line. As a result, managing your reputation online is one of the most important things you can do for your restaurant.

This post will explain how to deal with bad reviews and make sure your Yelp rating is as high and as resilient as possible.

Getting Reviewed

Yelp has a very sophisticated review algorithm. It’s designed to filter fake reviews and reviews that are either too positive or negative. So, once a review makes it through Yelp’s filters it is really hard to do anything about it. As a result, when it comes to bad Yelp reviews, the best thing you can do is NOT GET them in the first place. But, in the restaurant business, bad reviews are inevitable and this is what you can do to manage them:

Respond and Offer

Directly respond to bad reviews with concern, authenticity, and a resolution.

If a customer had a legitimately bad experience, accept the feedback, apologize, and take reasonable steps to resolve the issue. Taking action in this way often resolves the customer’s issue. Bad ratings can be devastating to your business. You should be willing to make significant sacrifices to get bad reviews deleted by their owners to keep your restaurant highly rated.

Flag It

If you find that a bad review is offensive, illegitimate, or otherwise unmanageable, flag it. Yelp has strict rules about review content, so in extreme cases or where there are no other reasonable options, flagging unfavorable reviews is your only option. And if, by chance, the bad review violates the Yelp Terms of Service, it will be removed.

Customer Outreach

If you’ve executed the steps above and still find yourself with bad reviews, the best thing to do is have a lot of very positive reviews (that are legit).

Customers are very receptive to reviewing their experience, particularly if you’ve done a good job. So, be sure to make it a priority to ask customers to review your restaurant. You can do this in a number of ways:

  • Have your staff ask customers to review their experience
  • Ask your network for reviews and personal recommendations
  • Strategically place a call to action to submit a review throughout the customer experience
  • Send personalized emails to customers with your gratitude for their business and their feedback on Yelp

Your Yelp reviews and ranking matter. If your restaurant does not sustain a four-star rating or higher, you may see a dramatic loss in business.

So, if your restaurant is getting bad Yelp reviews, use these techniques to manage them. If you take the opportunity to show customers you care, Yelp will become an asset to your restaurant, not a liability.


Author NetWaiter

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