It is human nature to try to avoid criticism. But unless you are ‘perfect in every way’ as Mac Davis, the country musician lyricist sings, we all can improve. By listening to those we serve, we can fine tune areas needing improvement and become centers of excellence.
Restaurant Review Tracking
There are multiple restaurant review engines. Keeping track of those reviews can be a fulltime job. I stumbled upon ReviewTrackers.com. They track 7 restaurant review sites and provide a timely report for restaurant partners. I have no financial interest in their business but see this as a valuable tool in protecting a brand’s food safety image.
Unfortunately, all too frequently, negative reviews are published on social media that inconsiderately tarnish a brand’s image. Optimally, constructive critical feedback should be confidential between the customer and the restaurant but open dialogue can often correct misunderstandings or apologize for service failures. We feel so strongly about that process and the need for confidential direct feedback that at DiningGrades.com have built such a tool and made it available for restaurants who claim their listing and purchase our inexpensive annual subscription.
Dealing with Negative Reviews
If confronted with a negative review, its human nature to be defensive but remember the customer is simply saying ‘you didn’t meet my expectations AND I want to to help you improve’. While there are there some people who complain for the sake of it, most are well meaning. Try to understand the complaint, validate the concern, thank the person who complained because they have done you a favor, learn from it, and then make a change. This is how to become an organization of excellence.
Be Open Minded
Don’t presume the encounter will be negative. I recently asked to speak to the manager on duty. He was immediately defensive. Then I offered my compliments of the waitress, the setting, and the food. I think I made him proud. If you accept constructive criticism and change, you can be part of a proud team that is always striving for excellence.