Addressing Bad Yelp Reviews About Your Food Truck

Bad yelp reviews are going to happen to just about every food truck on the road today, no matter how hard you try to avoid them. Of course, the good reviews are the ones to aim for, but it’s the negative feedback you need to pay particular attention to. As a food truck owner you need to carve out time to respond to online reviews.

How To Address Bad Yelp Reviews About Your Food Truck

There are two ways to reply to a bad review, publicly (on site where the comment was posted) or privately (contacting the poster directly).

We recommend starting with a private response and apologizing. It’s also great to start by thanking the reviewer for the feedback then go straight into the apology. Often posters are surprised to actually hear from a human in response, when they think they’ve posted a comment that likely will not be read by the anyone but a computer program.

Private responses are best to start with to resolve issues without drawing more attention to them. Public responses can work if there’s an inaccuracy in the review. First, publicly apologize to the review writer then point out that actually, their information is incorrect.

After this, users have the option to alter their review or even remove it, but you shouldn’t ask for this. At the very least, you will have pointed out the mistake and it will leave an overall better perception of your brand.

By posting publicly, you’re not responding to the reviewer any more. You are showing that you’re in touch with your customers and on top of things, and that you care enough to respond. If you are incredibly short of time in your day, you should still try to make time for this. Sort reviews by their importance and address the most negative reviews first.

There’s one other thing food truck operators can do to help their reputation and that’s by visiting biz.yelp.com. You should build out this site by telling your story and upload photos since this will give it a professional and authentic look.

Positive reviews should be your goal, and can mostly be left untouched.

Things To Consider When Responding

Contacting reviewers should be approached with care. Internet messaging is a blunt tool and sometimes good intentions come across badly. Keep these three things in mind as you’re crafting a message to your customer.

  1. Reviewers are your paying customers.
  2. Your reviewers are human beings with (sometimes unpredictable) feelings and sensitivities.
  3. Reviewers are vocal and opinionated (otherwise they would not be writing reviews).

Also, it doesn’t hurt to send a short note privately to thank reviewers. I would do it privately because if you do it publicly it can look like you’re a little too obsessed with your Yelp page.

RELATED: 8 Things You May Not Know About Yelp

The Bottom Line

Responding to bad Yelp reviews is a great way to learn from and build goodwill with one of your most vocal customers. Yelp allows businesses to respond publicly and privately to user reviews.

If you have any additional tips for dealing with negative reviews on Yelp, please feel free to add them in the comment section below or on social media. Facebook | Twitter

2017-06-16T09:48:08+00:00 By |Features, Social Media|

About the Author:

Richard is an architect by degree (Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan) who began his career in real estate development and architectural planning. In September of 2010 he created Mobile Cuisine Magazine to fill an information void he found when he began researching how to start a mobile hotdog cart in Chicago. Richard found that there was no central repository of mobile street food information anywhere on the internet, and with that, the idea for MCM was born.

4 Comments

  1. James Nelson May 22, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Yelp is currently in a class action lawsuit for this, they have people giving negative reviews on purpose so they can get money from you to buy into their program and pay 500-1000 a month for you to remove the negativity, check out yelp-sucks.com you will see there and how yelp is doing it all wrong, I own a food truck, I have my name copyrighted they refuse to take the truck off of their site.

  2. Dang Good Dogs May 22, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    We have 6 really great positive reviews, but the Yelp folks deemed them “not real” and won’t publish them on the site (although we don’t know the people that gave us the reviews and they are just random folks who liked our hot dogs!). We have contacted Yelp over 7 times to inquire why the reviews aren’t listed, and they say it’s because Yelp automatically “Filters” a review if it looks too positive. WHAT!!!? It’s absolutely ridiculous! So now we have consumers who went to Yelp, gave us great reviews, but nobody can see them because the Yelp software program that automatically “filters” reviews won’t let them through. Absolutely ridiculous and if the site won’t publish all the reviews then it should be SHUT DOWN as it is not accurate.

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