YELP & ZAGAT Reviews May Not Be Genuine

YELP & ZAGAT Reviews May Not Be Genuine

I distrust many YELP and ZAGAT reviews.  You may think this is a strange comment coming from a restauranteur who appreciates comments from his clients.  While some customer comments are genuine, many comments are contrived.  For example, you will see YELP ratings ranging from 0 to 5 stars for a particular restaurant.  But, who gave the 5 stars?  If you read the reviews carefully and understand the restaurant business, you will notice that some of the 5 star ratings give too many details, that only an owner, manager, or employee would know.  So, why would they write the review posing as a customer and give the restaurant a high rating?  To get you into the restaurant and make you spend your hard earned money.  The opposite occurs with a restaurant’s competitors…they post unfounded, malicious comments to discourage customers from patronizing the establishment.

To get an accurate assessment I read the reviews and disregard the most extreme.  This takes time, sometimes more than I have..which is why I prefer Michelin’s reviews.  The inspectors are objective; they check the food, service, and ambience, including the restrooms.  Michelin rates casual restaurants (check out the fork ratings), as well as the high ends (generally the “star” ratings). An exception is the cafetería-type restaurant in Hong Kong’s (more like Kowloon)Tim Ho Wan (the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant with bare tables!)

The next time you see a ZAGAT or YELP rating on a restaurant’s window, think twice or wait until you read the reviews.

If you can not make it in the Restaurant Business, without false rating, maybe you shouldn’t be in the Business!

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