July 15, 2022

How to Reply to Customer Feedback: A Guide

Customer feedback can significantly impact restaurants or CloudKitchens® delivery kitchens for the better or worse. One positive review can send sales skyrocketing, while any negative comments can result in a freefall of customers. Reviews are often placed on high-traffic websites like Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc., but when customer feedback is posted, how should your restaurant or CloudKitchens® delivery kitchen reply to it when it’s positive or negative? In this blog, we at KitchenPlus will give you various samples you can use to write the perfect response to both happy and angry diners. 

First and foremost, though, it is important to see how reviews can impact your F&B business.

  • People are most likely to read reviews for restaurants in comparison to any other business
  • 31% of diners are willing to pay more money at a restaurant that has positive reviews posted about it online
  • 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends

There is no denying that these facts paint a clear picture of how vital glowing reviews are for any restaurant. When customers take the time to post positive or negative feedback about your business, it is crucial to reply to their feedback as quickly as possible. Be adaptable and sample different response styles, especially to appease unhappy people. In fact, 20% of diners expect F&B establishments to reply to their feedback in 24 hours, regardless of whether it is positive or negative. 

Just remember, a simple ‘thank you’ will not suffice as you need to be appreciative when replying to customers who leave positive or negative feedback. For those that suggest changes, sample different response styles that indicate you are understanding and open to adopting their ideas. One constant that shouldn’t change is showing your gratitude to every diner that visits your restaurant. 

Key factors to keep in mind when responding to reviews

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Since plenty of customers want to provide feedback about the positive or negative experience they had at a restaurant, there are a few things to consider when replying to their praise or criticisms. You can use some of the samples we have provided, but ensure it incorporates the following elements.

  • Do your research – This is particularly geared towards negative reviews left about your establishment. If you encounter one, speak with your staff to gauge what went wrong. It’s also important to do your research about the person who posted the review so that you can create a bespoke response that they will appreciate. 
  • Reel your emotions in – It’s natural to feel elated and jubilant when positive reviews come in. However, when any negative feedback is posted, be sure not to let your emotions get the best of you. The last thing you want to do is damage your restaurant’s reputation. 
  • Reply to everyone – It is imperative to respond to everyone who leaves a review about your F&B business. Remember that 45% of customers who post negative comments are willing to return to your restaurant if you reply to what they had to say.
  • Respond promptly – When reviews are posted about your establishment, don’t wait too long to respond as it can frustrate your customers. You can create a Google alert to ensure you don’t find yourself in this situation! 
  • Stay positive – It is easy to be full of joy when responding to positive reviews as they are singing your praises. Be sure to stay upbeat when replying to negative comments and feedback from customers as well. If customers are recommending changes that can make the overall experience at your establishment a lot better, make sure you sample different responses to show them that you appreciate their patronage and are willing to take their suggestions on board. 

Samples of review responses

There are many different ways to reply to customer feedback. To help you nail it, here are some samples you can use. 

1. Response to a positive food review

Hi [REVIEWER NAME],

Thanks for your kind words. We’re thrilled to hear that we share the same passion for food and you had an enjoyable experience dining with us!  

Our staff will be overjoyed to read this review. The [FOOD ITEM MENTIONED] is one of their favourites too. Might we recommend you try the [POPULAR FOOD ITEM NOT MENTIONED] when visiting or ordering from us next time? We’re sure you’ll enjoy it just as much. Look forward to seeing you soon!

– [RESTAURANT NAME] Team

2. Negative review that doesn’t have much information

Hi [REVIEWER NAME],

Thank you for leaving us a review. At [RESTAURANT NAME], we constantly aim to create memorable experiences for our customers and we sincerely apologise to hear that we didn’t deliver that when you dined with us.

Could we ask you to reach out to us at [PHONE NUMBER / EMAIL ADDRESS] and provide further details or recommend any changes on how we can make your next dining experience perfect? We hope to use this as a learning curve to provide the ultimate experience to our valued customers in the future.

– [RESTAURANT NAME] Team

Let’s review everything

You now know how to reply to positive or negative customer feedback about your restaurant. Use one of the samples provided and make sure you reply to every comment that is posted. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you and be open to change as this could result in diners who gave your business a negative review willing to return to your restaurant in the future. 

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