How Your Bar or Restaurant Can Avoid a Review Site Scam

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How Your Bar or Restaurant Can Avoid a Review Site Scam

It’s a given that your bar or restaurant will get a negative online review at some point. Not even the best businesses get perfect reviews! But what about when the negative reviews are actually scams?

Believe it or not, this can actually happen. Have you ever had a customer in your restaurant who complained about his or her dinner just to score a freebie? The same thing can happen online. However, customers who complain online have even more of an incentive to do so. They know that everyone can see their complaints, and so you’ll have even more of a reason to offer them a free meal or a gift card to make them be quiet.

So what should you do? How should you handle it if you think a customer is trying to scam you? Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Message customers privately.

Some sites, like Yelp, give you the opportunity to message a customer privately. This is a good option if you want to avoid giving the customer an audience. They may be more likely to back down if they know people aren’t watching.

Politely ask for proof.

While you shouldn’t make excuses or insinuate that the customer is lying, you might consider asking for a receipt or some other proof that the customer really dined with you. Just think about how retailers don’t accept returns without receipts so that they can avoid scams.

Assume that it’s real until proven otherwise.

Although you should always be vigilant, you don’t want to get into the habit of assuming that all your negative reviews are fakes. This might cause you to upset customers and disregard real feedback.

Make sure your service and food are top notch.

By keeping your standards high, you can cut down on your the frequency of your negative reviews. And the fewer negative reviews you have, the less likely it is that a fake one will slip through undetected.

Keep your profiles updated.

Ultimately, you can never really control what your customers say about you online. The only thing you can control is your online presence. Make sure your review site and social media pages are kept up to date and accurate. Include plenty of good pictures of your food and any information that your customers might want to know.

Although there’s no way to completely avoid the possibility of fraudulent reviews, you can control how you handle them. Have you faced this dilemma at your restaurant?

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