First, before I continue, I want to highlight something… do not get the words grade and rating confused because, in the restaurant industry, a restaurant’s grade is different from a restaurant’s rating. A restaurant grade is what the Department of Health issued to restaurants based on the results of unannounced inspections they perform on them. This inspection usually happens at least once a year and what they mainly look for are compliance in food handling, food temperature, personal hygiene and vermin control.
Restaurant rating which is what this post will focus on is what an individual like you, would do after going to a restaurant and having a meal. Basically, this rating is based on your personal experience at the establishment. The purpose of restaurant ratings is to help others located great places to eat or save someone an unpleasant experience. It also helps keep the restaurant owners in the loop as to how their customers view them. Not too many restaurant owners read their reviews which could be due to several reasons; some don’t know they exist, just don’t know how to because they’re not computer savvy or they just don’t really care. Those who do check their reviews usually make the best use of it by rewarding their best customers with free meals or inviting customers whose experience wasn’t so pleasant back to right the wrong. The rating system is a really good tool because it may help restaurant owners get to know their customers, what they like and point out areas where their business may need improvement. These ratings are usually by stars; one star being the lowest and five the highest. They can be viewed on websites such as Facebook and Yelp or search engines like Google. They are readily available once you enter the names or address of the restaurant or a simple Google search for: “Restaurants near me.” If you’re just looking for a local good eat.
Being a self-proclaimed certified foodie; I love to eat good food and once I find a restaurant worthy of a mention, I will definitely go online and drop a review. I’m always truthful and I actually provide a breakdown as to what criteria used to reach my decision. Unfortunately, not too many folks have the same system. And that’s why it’s very important to take the ratings with a grain of salt unless you’re going to read the actual review. The review usually gives you a better insight as to why the restaurant got such grade. For example; the person might not have like the style of music played there but love the food, but will still give the restaurant a one star. I went to Google and Yelp to check out restaurants I’ve not only visited before but also liked to see how other people viewed and rated them. Everyone has their own taste and like the good old cliché goes; to each, his own and some people are ruthless.
Always be mindful that some of these bad ratings can actually come from someone who’s never actually had a meal there such as a competitor and unfortunately there’s no way of detecting them and it’s hard to get rid of a bad rating if the person intended to be malicious. However, you should be able to tell which rating is genuine or not by following these simple steps;
First don’t just judge the restaurant by the star, read at least 10 of the most recent reviews.
See if reviewer has a profile photos
Read why they gave that rating
While it’s OK to count good ratings without a brief review but don’t pay attention to bad ratings with no comments.
Not likely to be genuine:
Person described what they ate
Attach photos of their visit to the review
Last but not least, if you haven’t joined the world of reviewing, give it a try and don’t forget to be fair. Here are my food rating criteria; I base my ratings on five things, the food, drinks, presentation, customer service and the ambiance. Each category receives up 5 stars I then total them up and divide by 5 and voila. Here’s an example.
Customer Service *****