Customer reviews hold a lot of weight in the F&B industry as they can elevate restaurants to new heights or result in a freefall to obscurity. Comments posted online can influence many people’s decisions about whether to dine at your restaurant or CloudKitchens® delivery kitchen. Generally, customers will post their positive or negative feedback on well-known platforms such as Google, Yelp and TripAdvisor, but knowing how to reply to customer feedback is crucial as there are many avenues you can take. Therefore, in this blog, we at Chef Collective have provided various samples so you can craft the ideal response for your diners.
Instead of leaping straight into the different samples on how to reply to positive and negative customer feedback, you should be aware of these key statistics on just how important reviews are.
- People are most likely to read reviews about restaurants online out of all other types of businesses
- 31% of customers are ready to spend more money at eateries that have positive online reviews
- A total of 88% of diners trust online comments about restaurants just as much as recommendations they receive from family and friends
This will undoubtedly give you a clear idea of the impact reviews can have on your F&B business. When customers go online and post positive or negative feedback, it is important to reply as quickly as possible, as 20% of diners want a response from restaurants within 24 hours. When replying to them, be adaptable and sample different approaches as there isn’t a magic answer that can be used for all types of reviews.
Remember that simply saying “Thank you for your kind words!” is nowhere near enough. You need to show appreciation when praised and be willing to listen to suggestions when criticised. The best ways to reply in such situations can be found in the samples we have provided on how to reply to positive and negative customer feedback.
What to know before responding to reviews
Given how many people post reviews online about their experience when dining in a restaurant or ordering delivery, there is a lot you need to know prior to creating the perfect response. You can use our samples to ensure that you deliver the best possible reply to both positive and negative customer feedback.
- Always do your research – This is extremely important for negative comments, as when one is posted about your restaurant, you should immediately get a better understanding of what happened. Talk to your staff about the customer’s experience and also do some research about the reviewer to see what kind of feedback they have left other F&B businesses. This way, you can get an idea of which route to take when replying to them.
- Don’t get over-emotional – No doubt you will be jumping for joy when positive reviews come in as it will benefit your business and potentially result in an influx of customers. However, concoct a professional response when negative comments are posted instead of being swayed by your emotions.
- Everyone deserves a response – Regardless of whether a positive or negative remark has been left, it is imperative that you respond to each one. Remember that 45% of customers who didn’t enjoy their experience the first time round are willing to return to a restaurant if the establishment responds to their comment promptly.
- Don’t take ages to respond – When reviews are posted about your restaurant, reply to them as soon as possible to avoid frustrating those who have dined at your eatery. To stay up to date, set up a Google alert so you know when new feedback has been put up.
- Don’t lose your positivity – It is easy to reply to positive reviews as those who post them have obviously enjoyed their dining experience at your restaurant. But, when it comes to negative customer feedback, be sure you maintain a positive mindset and attitude when getting back to them. One response sample indicates that you should also be open to suggestions and willing to implement them if they can benefit your business.
Samples of responding to reviews
There are numerous ways you can respond when it comes to replying to positive or negative customer feedback. To give you a push in the right direction, these are a few samples you can use to help your restaurant navigate through all kinds of reviews.
1. Responding to positive food reviews
Hi [REVIEWER NAME],
Thank you for your really kind words. We’re delighted to hear that we share the same passion for food and you had an exceptional experience when dining at our restaurant!
Our kitchen staff will be ecstatic to read this review. The [FOOD ITEM MENTIONED] is one of their favourite dishes on the menu. Might we recommend you also try the [POPULAR FOOD ITEM NOT MENTIONED] when visiting our restaurant or ordering from us in the future? We’re confident you will enjoy it just as much. See you soon!
– [RESTAURANT NAME] Team
2. Responding to negative reviews with little information
Hi [REVIEWER NAME],
Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. At [RESTAURANT NAME], we always aim to create memorable experiences for our customers and we sincerely apologise to hear that we fell short of the mark during your visit.
Would you consider contacting us at [PHONE NUMBER / EMAIL ADDRESS] and providing further details about your experience or recommendations on how your dining experience can be improved the next time round? We hope to use this to improve our service to our valued customers in the future.
– [RESTAURANT NAME] Team
Time for a review
Now that you have a range of samples on how to reply to positive and negative customer feedback, you should have no problem crafting a response for any situation that may arise. Just remember that you should always be professional, polite and receptive to recommendations.
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