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How to Deal With Yelp and Bad Reviews

Published By: Jeff Darmound  -  Tuesday, December 27, 2016

rateyourexperienceOne of the quickest ways to ensure that restaurant tables remain empty is through bad reviews. Yelp has over 160 million site visits a month and has become the go-to place for people who have had bad dining experiences. These reviews can be quite unfair sometimes, but the good thing is that there are some ways to combat negative reviews.

Respond to Reviews Publicly

Directly responding to a bad Yelp review is one of the best ways to fight back against it. Yelp lets restaurateurs reply to any reviews that have been left on the site. This turns a review that could potentially leave bar tables empty into an online marketing opportunity.

Whether the negative review is about shoddy service, overcooked food or even uncomfortable cafe chairs, a restaurateur should reply with an attempt to make things right. This could mean a simple apology with a promise that things have been corrected or an offer for a free meal.

From here on out anyone else seeing the negative review is also going to see the reply. And at the end of the day, a consumer will want to occupy the restaurant dining tables of an eatery that is willing to make things right.

Strive for Great Reviews

Striving for great reviews doesn't all of a sudden make all of the negative reviews go away. However, it will make those negative reviews stand out less. After all, in the business world, you are likely to receive a bad review or two. If these reviews are surrounded by dozens of positive experiences, though, they'll mean very little.

Accomplish this by asking patrons to leave testimonials. It's against Yelp protocol to solicit positive reviews, but if tables for restaurants are graced by a discount card for leaving an online assessment, people will be more likely to go share their experience. And simply waiting for patrons to finish their meals allows the restaurateur to hand the cards to patrons who didn't have any issues.

Flag False Reviews

Unfortunately, it's possible for someone to leave a review even if they have never occupied a restaurant table. In fact, this has become a favorite tactic of individuals who don't like certain business practices and even competitors hoping to hurt an eatery. Although it's not always easy, it is possible to have these reviews removed.

If a restaurateur believes that a false review has been left, they can flag it for removal. Maybe the review is left by someone complaining that obviously hasn't been to the restaurant. Maybe the entirety of the review is based on hearsay. Regardless, these false testimonials can be flagged, and Yelp is often good at pulling them down in a timely manner.

Filling up the restaurant dining tables in an eatery can be difficult, and this task becomes even more taxing if negative reviews stand out online. However, at the end of the day, it's possible to minimize the effects of reviews. This is a commitment that needs to be made by any restaurateur hoping for success.

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