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For small businesses these days, it’s all about customer reviews. It doesn't matter how slick of a marketing campaign you have or how much you invest in advertising and hosting grand events; it can all come hideously undone with a couple of unhappy customers who decide to tell the world about it.

However, it needn’t be the end of the world. Sometimes, if the negative feedback is genuine, a humble apology and promise to fix the issue can show honesty and willingness to listen, which many potential customers can appreciate. 

Alternatively, if the complaint is malicious and false, a witty comeback and a withering response can also win fans. You might even go viral and get a ton of free exposure!

RELATED: Chinese Takeaway Goes Viral For Its Savage Replies To Bad Customer Reviews

How to Respond to Negative Feedback from Customers?

Being witty is your answer. Need further proof? Well, the good folks here at Bored Panda had collected a list of negative customer feedback examples when restaurant owners dealt with these negative reviews just perfectly. Scroll down below to check them out for yourself! 

(Facebook cover image: Dave Walker)

Do Restaurants Care About Reviews?

“You don’t define your brand. Your customers do,” is a common saying among customer service experts. And it’s true. Customer reviews have become so important to people that 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business, as per Invesp. And 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. That’s a lot! So restaurants don’t just care about the reviews; they need them.

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How Much Does a Bad Review Cost a Restaurant?

You need visible reviews for potential customers to check out, but they must be good ones. If you get a bad review, it can be soul-destroying; you pour your heart and soul into your business only to tarnish it by a customer who might simply be in a bad mood, didn’t like the restaurant’s food, or had unrealistic expectations.

Businesses are at risk of losing consumers who would have bought from them if there hadn’t been a negative review, as per Zen Business. Negative reviews can turn as much as 86% of customers away. You simply can't ignore difficult customers, no matter how unfair it might seem.

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Why Do Customers Leave Bad Restaurant Reviews?

According to Social Media Today, 13.5% of customers say they post fake reviews or negative reviews out of vengeance, so chances are, they aren’t out to get you personally. 89.7% of people who complain want to get a response from you, which suggests that they are giving you the opportunity to make things right. 

73.2% of people who complain hope to save others from having the same experience as they did. So, if you are helpful and make an effort to reply in a courteous way, you can use bad reviews for restaurants to show that you are willing to adapt to customer needs and demands.

#6

Restaurant Owner Wasn't Having It.

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Lizzie the Crayon
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5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Because they think being legal and making sense makes sense, unlike you, Blurred Name.

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Can a Restaurant Sue You for a Bad Review?

During an interview with CNBC, Attorney Evan Mascagni said, “Most Americans don’t realize they can be sued for writing an online review. With the rise of user-generated [review] content sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, we’ve really seen a shift where folks are being sued for their speech online.”

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As you saw in these bad restaurant review examples, it was apparent that the reviews were false. Our advice would be to avoid writing such fake reviews, or you might face a heavy fine from the restaurant.

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#11

Op Thinks The Taco Joint Is Her Kids Playground

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Bored Fox
Community Member
5 years ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I have all the respect for the restaurants that do not allow children running around the tables. Running children are very annoying for the other customers and it is also very dangerous because a children can injure themselves very easily.

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#15

Lick A Cake, Get Your 'Just Desserts'!

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#16

Woman Leaves Poor Review On Local Restaurant, Restaurant Fires Back

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Christina Sersif
Community Member
5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If you come into a restaurant when they're closing you shouldn't expect suburb service. You're actually a d!ck for deciding to come in when they're trying to end their day because you feel entitled to food. Mcdonalds is open 24 hours.

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#19

Rival Chinese Restaurant Called Out Leaving A Review

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Wil Vanderheijden
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5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This could really backfire for the other Chinese restaurant. People remember this kind of funny publicity better than a good review.

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#20

Classic Google Review Gag!

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#23

Local Restaurant Gets A Negative Review, Replies To Customer Calling Them Out And Providing Proof

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Christina Sersif
Community Member
5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is the proper way to respond to a bad review. Very carefully call out their lies without resulting to insulting them like the Irish restaurant did.

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#24

Lady Claims She She Spent $73 On Two Sandwhiches And Some Beans. Owner Looks Up Her Exact Order.

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Victoria Rey Piuma
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5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Perfect last sentence! !!!! 'Meat by itself is utterly fantastic.' Alsono exclamation mark. It is fact.

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#26

Breakfast Extortion!

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Christina Sersif
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5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I wish they didn't block the people's names. I just want to see if it's someone I know so I know to stay clear of this person.

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#27

Casually Browsing Reviews For Dinner When...

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JessG
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5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Dairy allergy and orders PESTO?!?! Real pesto has Parmesan IN it. Why order it at ALL if you have an allergy? This just tells me that they were absolutely informed about the pea purée, or they're just dumb.

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#30

Negative-Feedback-Restaurant-Comebacks

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Wil Vanderheijden
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5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Who else feels the urge to find Peter B. from Forest Hill US and ask him if the burn already healed?

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Dealing with False Complaints

The witty comebacks from the restaurant owners were really something! If you ever think about posting a false review, think twice. Or rather, don’t think about it at all! Which witty comeback did you like the most? Don’t forget to let us know in the comments. Also, share this with someone you know who has posted fake reviews. Let them know how badly it can come back to them!