For restaurant owners, online review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor can be a blessing or a curse.
They’re a blessing when the business consistently receives positive reviews and high ratings. In such cases, the public feedback from happy customers makes the business much more attractive to other potential customers.
But with negative reviews and low ratings? It’s like having a sign on the door that tells diners to stay away. (According to research, one in 3 restaurant-goers wouldn’t even dine below 4 stars.)
Epic Response to Negative Customer Feedback?
It’s not surprising to know that, in the name of online review management, some business owners, chefs, and restaurant industry execs are prone to dishing out comebacks to unfavorable reviews and negative customer feedback.
To be fair, we’ve seen some standout businesses that are pretty savvy at responding.
But there are also those whose responses to reviews cause damage to – instead of protect – their brand reputation. For example: these guys. (Surely, you have heard of Amy’s Baking Company?)
Recently we came across a restaurant owner in the UK whose response to a TripAdvisor review went viral on the Internet and social media. Steve Bothwell, the man behind Café 52 in Aberdeen, penned this withering reply to a one-star reviewer, whom Bothwell called out for having a “twisted sense of reality” and sarcastically praised for “remarkably creative piece of writing.”
Let’s take a look at the screenshots for the whole story. Then you decide if the business owner’s response is an epic win or an epic fail.
TripAdvisor user injured2015 was complaining about one of their party being “cut by broken glass that a waitress dropped.” “At no time did the manager apologize for this incident,” the reviewer continued. “We are in the business of training managers and customer service and what we experienced would not have made the grade.”
So: what do you think of Bothwell’s reply? (By the way, if there’s one thing we recommend changing or editing out of his review response, it’s the “your colleague suffered a ½ inch scratch from a broken glass that hit the floor” part. We have a feeling that might not be a helpful admission should the customer decide to file a lawsuit.)
Majority of Café 52’s online reviews and customer feedback are positive, with the restaurant ranking in the top 40s out of more than 500 places to eat in Aberdeen. It has a cumulative 4-star rating, with 167 “Excellent” and 103 “Very Good” reviews on TripAdvisor (as of this writing).