Publish Date:
January 10, 2024

How to Respond to a Google Review for Restaurants

This guide explains how to respond to a Google review for restaurants, offers tips for dealing with bad ratings, and includes customizable response templates.

Monitoring your Google restaurant reviews provides valuable insights into the customer experience. Those insights empower you to meet diners’ expectations and deliver outstanding customer satisfaction, giving your restaurant the edge it needs in a highly competitive industry. 

But why stop at just monitoring your Google reviews when responding to them gives you an even bigger advantage?

Data shows that consumers are more likely to choose businesses, including restaurants, that take the time and effort to respond to all of their online reviews. 

Data also shows that Google is the most trusted and widely-used review platform, outperforming Yelp, Facebook, and others by a healthy margin. 

If you want to attract more customers and increase your restaurant’s profits, you need to establish a solid strategy for tracking and responding to your restaurant's Google reviews in 2024.

To help you get started, we compiled this guide on how to respond to Google reviews for restaurants, bars, coffee shops, fast food chains, takeout and delivery franchises, catering services, and other businesses in the food and beverage industry. 

It covers: 

  • Best practices when responding to Google restaurant reviews 
  • Examples of negative and positive Google reviews
  • Screenshots showing how restaurant owners respond to both positive and negative Google reviews, including 1-star and 5-star reviews 
  • Easy-to-modify response templates restaurant owners can use for replying to online reviews on Google and other platforms 
  • Answers to FAQs about Google restaurant reviews 

3 best practices for responding to a Google review for restaurants

1. Personalize your responses to Google reviews  

It’s important to ensure your review responses are personalized to the original comments. 

For example, you should address specific points and details mentioned in the review, like the reviewer’s name, a dish they mentioned, or a specific issue they raised in their review. 

Personalizing your responses shows sincerity, attention to detail, and a willingness to engage respectfully with your customers. 

For negative reviews, an essential part of personalizing your message is offering a solution or next step – for example,  inviting the reviewer to contact your restaurant directly to discuss their concerns further.

 This not only helps remedy the situation – and potentially save your business from losing the customer – it also shows potential customers that your staff is helpful, friendly, and professional. 

2. Respond promptly and politely 

When responding to Google restaurant reviews, promptness and politeness are key -- even if the original review is less-than-courteous. Here are some tips for putting that into practice: 

  • Do not argue with the reviewer in your response to a Google review. Even if you strongly disagree with their version of events, wait to discuss the details until you have moved the conversation offline.  
  • Be sure to acknowledge customer feedback, whether it's positive or negative, and express sincere gratitude toward the reviewer for taking the time to share their experience. This demonstrates attentiveness to customer feedback and a genuine commitment to providing excellent service.
  • Double-check that your response is free of spelling or grammatical errors before publishing. 
  • Aim to respond within hours of receiving a Google review, not days or weeks – especially when replying to a negative review

3. Let your brand’s personality shine 

Incorporating your restaurant's brand personality into your review responses can create a more relatable and engaging interaction for the reviewer. 

Whether it’s Southern hospitality, upscale luxury, or a playful touch of humor, aligning the tone of your reply with the restaurant's brand identity allows you to create a stronger connection with your target audience.

How to respond to positive Google reviews for restaurants (template)

Below, you’ll find examples of both positive reviews and negative reviews on Google, including the original comments as well as the restaurant owners’ responses. 

Each example is accompanied by a review response template, which your business can easily customize by substituting a few words or phrases. 

Responding to 5-star ratings and reviews 

a 5-star  google review for a restaurant
a response to a a 5-star  google review for a restaurant

Template: “Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at [Restaurant Name], [Reviewer Name]! We’re thrilled to hear that you enjoyed our [style of cuisines] and took advantage of our [positive restaurant feature]. We hope to see you again soon and suggest you try our popular dish, the [Menu Item Name]!” 

a 5-star  google review for a restaurant example 2
a 5-star  google review for a restaurant response 2

Template: “Thank you for your kind words, [Reviewer Name]! We’re thrilled to hear that you’re a fan of our [style of cuisine] and that our [type of menu item] is still a great value for you. We’re also glad that you enjoy our [positive restaurant detail referenced in the review]. We hope to see you again soon at [Restaurant Name]!” 

Responding to 4-star ratings and reviews 

a 4-star  google review for a restaurant

a 4-star  google review for a restaurant reply

Template: “Thank you so much for the thoughtful feedback, [Reviewer Name]. We’re so pleased that you consistently enjoy our culinary creations and find our staff to be professional and helpful. Your comments about our on-point [pricing, seasonal selections, wine recommendations, etc.] mean so much. We are glad to know that you are satisfied but will work on making whatever improvements needed in order to provide you with an even better experience.” 

a 4-star  google review for a restaurant example 2
a 4-star  google review for a restaurant reply 2

Template: “Hi [Reviewer Name], we want to thank you for your kind words and positive Google review. We’re so pleased that you enjoyed our authentic culinary creations and found our service to be exemplary. We appreciate your support, and always welcome feedback on how we can make your next experience even better. 

From everyone here at the [Restaurant Name] family, it’s truly our pleasure to serve you. We hope to welcome you and your family back again soon!” 

How to respond to negative Google reviews for restaurants (template)

Responding to 1-star ratings and reviews 

a 1-star  google review for a restaurant
a 1-star  google review for a restaurant reply

Template: “Thank you for your review, [Reviewer Name]. We’re truly sorry to hear about your disappointing experiences. We value each guest’s feedback and your comment will be reviewed by our team to improve our service going forward. We’re committed to providing a seamless and enjoyable experience on your next visit to our restaurant. 

We encourage you to contact us at [phone number or email address] so that we can work to quarantee this is resolved for you!” 

a 1-star  google review for a restaurant review 2
a 1-star  google review for a restaurant response 2

Template: “Hi [Reviewer Name], I am so sorry to hear about your negative experience. We understand your disappointment and truly apologize that the [type of incident] was not handled differently.

 Please know that your concerns will be addressed with our team promptly. We encourage you to reach out to us directly so that we can discuss this matter further and work toward a resolution together. We look forward to speaking with you about how we can make things right!” 

Responding to 2-star ratings and reviews 

a 2-star  google review for a restaurant
a 2-star  google review for a restaurant reply

Template: “Thank you for sharing feedback about your experience at our restaurant, [Reviewer Name]. We apologize that your visit did not meet your expectations. We will work harder to enhance our menu and layout to ensure a better experience for our valued customers in the future. 

We hope you’ll consider giving us another opportunity to exceed your expectations.” 

a 2-star  google review for a restaurant 2
a 2-star  google review for a restaurant reply 2

Template: “Hi [Reviewer Name], thank you for taking the time to share your comments with us. Your feedback is appreciated as it helps us to improve. We are sorry to hear that your last dining experience with us did not meet your expectations.

 Our team will work harder to guarantee our future guests receive prompt and attentive service. We hope to have the opportunity to serve you again soon.” 

Top 5 restaurant complaints on Google and how to address them

As you’ve probably noticed when checking your Google reviews, or those in the examples above, most customer complaints tend to fall into one (or more) of the following categories:

  1. Pricing 
  2. Food and/or beverage quality 
  3. Host’s and/or waitstaff’s service 
  4. Reservations 
  5. Cleanliness, sanitation, or hygiene 

In addition to the templates above, here are five more response templates for dealing with these common types of bad restaurant reviews on Google.

How to address complaints about menu pricing 

“Thank you, [Reviewer Name], for taking the time to share your review about your recent dining experience at [Restaurant Name]. We appreciate your feedback, as it helps us improve our services. 

We understand your concerns regarding our pricing, and we apologize if it did not meet your expectations. We strive to provide our valued customers with a great dining experience with high-quality ingredients, exceptional service, and a comfortable ambiance. 

Our pricing reflects the quality of our offerings and allows us to maintain the level of excellence that our customers expect. We encourage you to contact us at [phone number or email address] if you need further assistance, and we hope to serve you again soon!” 

How to address complaints about food quality 

“Thanks for reviewing [Restaurant Name], [Reviewer Name]. We would like to express our sincere apologies for the disappointing dining experience you had at our restaurant. 

Ensuring the highest quality of freshest ingredients is of utmost importance to us, and we are committed to delivering delicious and satisfying meals to all our guests. 

We take your feedback seriously and have immediately addressed the concerns you've raised with our kitchen staff. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [phone number or email address], and we will be more than happy to discuss your experience further and find a suitable solution. 

We look forward to hearing from you soon!” 

How to address complaints about customer service 

“Thank you, [Reviewer Name], for bringing your comments to our attention. We sincerely apologize for the negative experience you had during your visit. At [Restaurant Name], we strive to provide outstanding service, and we understand the importance of ensuring each guest feels valued and well taken care of. 

We genuinely regret that we fell short of meeting your expectations, and would value the opportunity to make it right. 

We hope you’ll consider reaching out to us at [phone number or email address] so that we can see to it that your next dining experience with us is incredible!” 

How to address complaints about guest reservations 

“Thank you for your review, [Reviewer Name]. We appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback about your recent reservation experience at our restaurant. We understand how important it is to provide a smooth and seamless reservation process for our guests, and we truly apologize for falling short in delivering that to you. 

We have taken note of your comments and will work diligently to make sure that similar situations do not occur in the future. Please feel free to contact us directly at [phone number or email address], and we would be happy to assist you personally in making a reservation. 

Thank you again for your review, and we hope to speak with you soon.”  

How to address complaints about restaurant cleanliness 

“Thank you for bringing your concerns about cleanliness to our attention, [Reviewer Name]. We deeply apologize for your experience and any distress or inconvenience it may have caused you. Maintaining a clean, sanitary environment is of the utmost importance to us, and we take these matters very seriously. We have immediately addressed your feedback with our team and initiated additional training sessions to make sure our staff remains vigilant in keeping our premises spotless. 

We kindly request that you reach out to us directly at [contact number or email] so we can discuss your experience in more detail and confirm that necessary measures are taken to rectify the situation.” 

How to easily manage Google reviews of your restaurant 

Managing online reviews is a never-ending process that requires you to track dozens of review platforms, then manually generate and publish responses to every customer who rates your restaurant. 

You simply don’t have time to write and publish many replies – especially since each response must be customized to the reviewer and consistent with your branding. 

ResponseScribe offers a streamlined solution that saves your restaurant time and money while empowering you to engage customers and build brand loyalty. We monitor 50+ review platforms so your business doesn’t have to, including Google, Yelp, Facebook, OpenTable, Zagat, and more. 

Whenever you receive a new rating or review, our team responds within hours with an AI-powered, human-powered, or hybrid response strategy – whichever plan you decide fits your restaurant’s needs best. 

Stay as closely involved in the process as you want, or take a completely hands-off approach with full automation. You have the power to screen all responses before a word is ever published, including revision requests and review flagging, giving you confidence every response reflects positively on your brand.  

Monitoring and responding to Google reviews is essential, but it's only the first step. To attract more business – and more positive reviews – you should also consider implementing the feedback you receive, especially if it’s recurring negative feedback. 

By combining an effective Google review response strategy with meaningful improvements based on customer feedback, you can attract and retain more customers, get more reviews on Google, score better ratings from guests, and earn higher revenue in 2024.

A faster, easier way to respond to Google restaurant reviews

Google restaurant reviews matter – and so do your responses to them. ResponseScribe lets you reply to your customers confidently, quickly, and courteously without ever having to type a word. 

By leveraging the power of AI, ResponseScribe helps all of your reviewers on Google receive fast, friendly, personalized responses aligned with your brand values. 

We also have a team of responders ready to take over your review responses by monitoring 50+ other review platforms, making it easy to manage your online reputation no matter where, when, or how frequently your customers leave restaurant reviews. 

Start earning more positive reviews and attracting more traffic to your restaurant with a leveled-up response management strategy.

Get your free trial of ResponseScribe today. 

FAQs

How to reply to restaurant reviews on Google

When replying to Google restaurant reviews, keep the response concise and professional. Acknowledge the reviewer's experience, apologize for any inconvenience, and express gratitude for their feedback. Offer to address their concerns privately, providing your contact details. For negative reviews, assure them that customer satisfaction is important and that necessary actions will be taken to rectify the situation. Finally, sign off with a friendly and personal touch that will encourage customers to return.

How to turn off Google restaurant reviews

To turn off restaurant reviews on Google Business Profile, start by logging in to your Google account. Navigate to the "Info" tab on the left side of the screen, then scroll to the "Review" section. Click or tap the pencil icon, uncheck the box labeled "Allow customers to leave reviews," and save your changes before navigating away. Remember, unchecking this option means that customers will no longer be able to leave reviews on Google, including positive reviews.

What are the best restaurant review sites?

When it comes to Google alternatives, the best-known restaurant review platforms include Yelp, OpenTable, TripAdvisor, Foursquare, Eater, Zagat, Gayot, The Infatuation, Toast, and TouchBistro. These platforms provide restaurant reviews, ratings, photos, hours of operation, information about food allergies, and other relevant information, enabling platform users to make informed decisions about where to dine.

How do I get more Google reviews for a restaurant?

To increase Google reviews, see that your restaurant's Google Business Profile and Google Maps address are accurate and up-to-date. Share positive reviews on your website or social media pages to showcase highly satisfied customers. Respond promptly and courteously to all Google reviews, including positive reviews and poor reviews alike. Finally, use effective methods to encourage customers to leave Google reviews for your restaurant, such as personalized email campaigns. Implementing these strategies will help you get more Google reviews for your restaurant.

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