News > Business

Negative diner reviews more damaging than critics

By Becky Paskin , 20-Sep-2010

Related topics: Business, Restaurants, Hotels, Pubs & Bars

Over half of diners will avoid a restaurant after seeing a bad review, with a third trusting the view of their peers over the professional critics

It's easy for diners to post negative online reviews

It's easy for diners to post negative online reviews

According to research from Livebookings, 48 per cent of diners said they would always check a venue’s reputation before making a booking, but only 20 per cent said they would ignore reviews and judge the restaurant based on its website and menu.

 

David Norris, chief operating officer for Livebookings, said it’s important for restaurateurs to manage their online customer reviews, which could be potentially damaging.

 

“In 2010 it’s very easy for anyone to write an opinion and it’s even easier for thousands of others to read that opinion,” he said.
 
“Restaurateurs can no longer dismiss the importance of the internet in shaping how their business is perceived by the general public. They must take note of the feedback they are receiving and where necessary, act on it.”

TripAdvisor lawsuit

 

The news comes as online reputation management company KwikChex.com last week announced it was to launch a group defamation action against TripAdvisor, over allegedly unfair and false claims made by consumers or rival businesses on its site.

 

KwikChex said it would ask Tripadvisor to rectify the worst criticisms within seven days, and remove ‘false’ reviews within two weeks, or face a defamation suit.

 

Martin Couchman, deputy chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said that the organisation was taking steps to address the industry-wide problem.

 

“I think that feedback on websites such as TripAdvisor can be very useful for restaurants and pubs but they need to have the confidence that the review is posted by a genuine customer,” he said.

 

“The BHA has had a number of meetings with TripAdvisor on this subject and we’re pleased that steps have been taken to ensure that this is this case for our members.”

 

Livebookings suggests operators follow these steps to manage their online reviews:

  • Identify which websites your customers are posting reviews to
  • Regularly monitor the websites to see what’s being posted
  • Engage with negative reviews to show you value a customer’s comment and explain how you will address the problem
  • If you are unable to post a reply, contact the website

BigHighlights

60-Second Skill: Pouring champagne

60-Second Skill: Pouring champagne

As demonstrated at the Moet UK Sommelier of the Year competition, champagne pouring requires skills and knowledge....

Mark Poynton: Pearls of Wisdom

Mark Poynton: Pearls of Wisdom

The British chef-patron of the Michelin-starred Alimentum and star of Great British Menu Mark Poynton talks about...

Interview with Glendola Leisure's Alexander Salussolia
Small Talk

Alexander Salussolia on Silk & Grain, market niches and nurturing future talent

Managing director of Glendola Leisure Alexander Salussolia joined the company in 1992 as an area manager, before...

60-Second Skill: Using #foodporn to your advantage

60-Second Skill: Using #foodporn to your advantage

Customers posting pictures of your food on social media is a trend you can't escape, but by...

Hospitality openings: July 2014

Hospitality openings: July 2014

Our latest round of up of the hottest hospitality openings includes Dev Biswal's new Ambrette in Canterbury, Wahaca's...

Gallery: Belsfield Hotel re-launches with Laura Ashley interiors

Gallery: Belsfield Hotel re-launches with Laura Ashley interiors

Laura Ashley has partnered with the Belsfield Hotel in the Lake District, seeing it undergo a complete...

Find us on Facebook

Digital Edition - Restaurant Magazine

Access to the Restaurant Magazine digital edition