Best Practices for Replying to Reviews

More than half of 18- to 34-year-olds take online reviews into consideration when making a dining decision. And on Grubhub, diners who read reviews are 1.5 times more likely to order than those who haven’t.

Ready to increase the number of customers ordering from your restaurant? Use these best practices to encourage positive reviews and reduce the impact of negative online comments.

General Tips

  • Be prompt. More than 80% of consumers believe getting their issue resolved quickly is the most important part of a great customer service experience. Grubhub enables you to respond to reviews within 7 days after a customer reviews your restaurant.
  • Use proper grammar and spelling. Avoid offensive words and cap locks to ensure the diner understands your response and walks away with a positive experience.
  • Be specific. Including details from the customer’s review shows you’re taking their review seriously.
  • Thank customers who write positive reviews. This small gesture can go a long way toward improving your relationship and converting your customer into an advocate.
  • Share what you’re hearing with your staff. Your staff is on the front lines and has a direct impact on customers’ experiences. Share successes to keep your staff motivated and any improvements needed for the future.

Responding to Negative Reviews

Turning a negative dining experience into a positive one can help you boost business. In fact, a one-star improvement in a restaurant’s ratings translates to anywhere from a 5-9% effect on revenue.

Here are some tips to help you respond to even your harshest critics:

  • Keep it cordial. Your business might feel like your baby, but your customers are hungry, which can make them feel like babies too.
  • Apologize for the poor experience. While every negative review may not accurately reflect your restaurant’s dining experience, a sincere yet brief apology will show that you take customer complaints seriously.
  • Identify a solution. From running out of a popular dish to mixing up orders, mistakes happen. Outline specific steps to fix the situation and show diners you’re committed to improving the experience.
  • Evaluate making changes. If you see recurring complaints, making improvements can drastically improve your ratings and reviews.


Not sure how to respond to a negative review? Check out what a good response might be to common customer reviews:

Review 1: A diner says their food was late

Why this works:

  • The responder apologizes, then offers a solution
  • The response is short and specific

Review 2: A diner says their order was inaccurate

Why this works:

  • Replied promptly as soon as the diner posted their review
  • Shows a solution
  • Encourages the diner to try the restaurant again

Review 3: A diner thinks the food is not great

Why this works:

  • The message is personalized by addressing the customer directly
  • Highlights a component of your business to other diners who are reading (“source our seafood from high-quality suppliers”)
  • Shows you’re working to address the complaint, even if you don’t have the answer in that moment

Review 4: A diner says they never received their order

Why this works:

  • Response shows you have investigated the issue
  • The tip to the diner is made in a polite, cordial manner
  • Shows the restaurant is committed to solving the problem


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