If your pub gets slagged off online by a cocky journalist or blogger, there are various ways of handling it. We’d recommend one of the following:
- Do nothing at all. The bad review will probably fade away like a fart in a supermarket. If it doesn’t, then (if you do your job well) it will soon be lost in a sea of positive reviews anyway.
- Acknowledge the complaints in a comment, or in a blog post of your own. Take it on the chin — don’t try to be defensive. Respond in a way which shows how customer-focused, mature, good-humoured and just plain lovely you are (even if you’re not), thus casting the blogger/journalist in the role of mean-spirited bastard putting the boot into a sweet little puppy.
We would definitely not advise kicking off on Twitter in petulant fashion. This draws attention to a bad review which most people would never have noticed (a variation on the Streisand effect).
One bad review, assuming we ever stumbled across it, wouldn’t put us off visiting a pub, but evidence of a bad-tempered publican might.
UPDATE: someone kicked off petulantly in response to this drawing attention to a review we wrote several years ago which has now become this week’s most read post. Amazing.