Get Inspired By These Real-Life Management Responses
Why Responding to Reviews Matters
From the moment a customer walks through your door, you hope they feel at home. Thousands of moving parts, from your staff to your napkin linens, make up their experience. Consider your response as an extension of the great hospitality you provide in your restaurant.
When a customer leaves a review, they’re providing crucial feedback to make your business better — and free marketing for future diners who browse reviews before deciding where to eat. Responding to reviews is a big business opportunity: 85% of Tripadvisor users are more likely to dine at a restaurant that responds to reviews.
Maintaining your reputation online doesn’t require lengthy responses or even responses to every single review that shows up on your page. What it does require is a knack for hospitality — something you’re probably already great at.
6 Great Responses to Reviews from Real Owners
Here’s how these Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best winners tackle all kinds of reviews:
Responding to Positive Reviews
Showing the customers that love you how much you appreciate their positive reviews can go a long way toward driving repeat customers for your restaurant. When responding to a four- or five-bubble review, you don’t have to make it long — just make it personal.
Short and Sweet
Here’s a great example of a short and sweet response to a five-bubble review from Restaurant Rote Bar, a Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best winner from Austria:
“Thank you very much for your positive feedback about your visit at Restaurant Rote Bar. I am very delighted to hear that you enjoyed our food and the service there. We do very much appreciate your recommendation and it would be our pleasure to welcome you once again.”
- What Makes It Great: They provide a clear, concise thank-you and an invitation to return.
- Make It Yours: Add a sign off as yourself or as your team — adding that personal touch matters.
See how SKIRT, a Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best winner from Singapore, responded to a celebratory five-bubble review:
Congratulations on your anniversary! What a great occasion to celebrate with us at SKIRT. Your compliments about our friendly team are greatly appreciated. Thank you once more for your commendation and I look forward to welcoming you soon.
- What Makes It Great: It shows the reviewer that they’re paying attention to the comments by personalizing the response to call out the reviewer’s anniversary celebration.
- Make It Yours: With positive reviews, it’s easy to fall into a templatized thank you note. This is a great way to make sure you’re varying your responses slightly so that it doesn’t seem like you’re a robot.
Finally, read this response from Circa 1886, a Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best winner in Charleston, South Carolina:
Thank you for the amazing review of Circa 1886. We are thrilled to read that you and your daughter enjoyed the tasting menu; our chef works diligently to create memorable and delicious dishes. Your personal mention of our passionate staff, Denis and Ann is such a compliment and we will be sure to pass along your appreciation. We hope you will join us for dinner again soon.
- What Makes It Great: It shows potential diners why they received the positive review.
- Make It Yours: Think about what your restaurant is all about. What do you want diners to know about you? Since prospective diners read reviews and review responses, it’s your opportunity to reiterate what makes you great.
Responding to Negative Reviews
Negative reviews aren’t fun for anyone. And while you might have hoped that someone had given you their feedback in person, there’s still something you can do to make it better: your Management Response. You’ll also impress potential diners with your attention to hospitality. In fact, 65% of users agree that a thoughtful response to a complaint improves their impression of the restaurant.
Check out how Zahav, a Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best winner from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, approached this one-bubble review:
We truly apologize that your experience wasn't up to your standards. Please feel free to contact us to further discuss this unfortunate situation.
- What Makes It Great: A clear apology and an invitation to contact them further.
- Make It Yours: Similar to positive reviews, be careful not to sound like a robot by varying your responses slightly.
See how i Latina, a Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best winner from Buenos Aires, responds to a three-bubble review:
Thank you for sharing your comments, it is very important for us to know about your experience with us and only in this way we can improve our service and details to make future experiences even better.
We already discussed these particular aspects with our team, both in service and in the kitchen and will make sure to work hard to improve and make every visit delightful in every detail.
Thank you again, your thoughts are very valuable for us. Hope to see you again another time!
- What Makes It Great: Thanking the reviewer for their feedback and showing them that they’re taking it seriously.
- Make It Yours: You’ll notice that i Latina doesn’t mention any specifics on the details — that’s intentional. Stick to generic phrases or adding a positive spin when personalizing your response to avoid adding any momentum to the negative review.
Here’s how Blue Water Cafe, a Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best winner from Vancouver, Canada, addressed a disappointed diner who left a one-bubble review:
I would like to apologize for your recent experience at Blue Water Cafe. We pride ourselves on offering the highest standards of hospitality and professionalism, and are therefore disheartened to hear about the level of service you received.
We have spoken to the kitchen and shared your feedback and will be following up with the server in regards to the lapse in service. We will use your candid comments as a training tool to continually fine-tune our service levels to not only meet but exceed our guest expectations.
Once again, please accept my sincerest apologies.
- What Makes It Great: A clear apology that shows they listened to the feedback and took action from it.
- Make It Yours: It’s helpful to always include an apology, even if you’re not feeling apologetic about the diner review. However, don’t feel like you have to apologize more than once — apologize and thank them for the feedback, and move on with a more positive message.
Respond to Your Reviews
Follow in the footsteps of these Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best winners by responding to your reviews.
While you don’t have to respond to every single one, it’s important to show your diners — past and future — that you care about their experience at your restaurant. For more best practices on responding to reviews, click here.
To respond to your Tripadvisor reviews, log in to the Management Center — if you haven’t claimed your listing, it’s free and easy to do so here — and choose “Respond to Reviews” from the “Reviews” tab to get started. Tripadvisor Review Hub subscribers can head to the same place to respond to all of their reviews from multiple platforms — learn more about Review Hub here.
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