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Mar 15, 2008 08:22 AM

Do you score restaurants? I need a new system

For years, my partner & I had our restaurant rating system which put a place somewhere on a 1 - 10 scale. It worked for a long time, but as we researched more, we found we weren't going to really bad places anymore. Nor, for that matter, were we able to afford to go to really good/expensive places. So, we started to find that every time we ate somewhere, we'd score it around 5 - 7.

We needed something better. So we changed and came up with a system that said if a place just met our expectations it would get a 5. Better or worse than "just meeting expectations" would affect the score up or down. This never really worked as it meant that the neighbourhood pizza place got a 5 and so did the Michelin starred place, as both "met expectations" (although the expectations were different).

Do you have a better way?


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  1. H

    if you read jfood's reviews he uses the 1-10 scale as well. But he also tries to break it down by course. What jfood likes about this quantitative result is that it gives him and mrs jfood a quantitative discussion point on the drive home. It's amazing how two adults can disagree about whether a dish was a 7 or an 8. Quite amusing.

    Likewise when jfood wants to remember what he liked and didn't he goes to his review folder and is able to see pretty detailed reviews of the food plus an end number.

    Jfood thinks you just need a little granularity in the two of your's review method.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jfood

      The UK's Good Food Guide also uses 1-10 but, of course, you have to be pretty good to get into it in the first place. It only scores on cooking, not ambiance, and 1 is "capable cooking with simple food combinations and clear flavours, but some inconsistencies" to a 10 "While it is extremely rare that a restaurant can achieve perfect dishes on a consistent basis, we live in hop". Currently it doesnt give anywhere a 10, but does rate three at a 9.

    2. I prefer to leave quantification for work and to avoid spurious precision. My system:

      a) really *&^(*^$*^ bad
      b) *&^(*^$*^ bad
      c) bad
      d) ok
      e) good
      f) *&^(*^$*^ good
      g) really *&^(*^$*^ good

      1 Reply
      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

        Sam, I tend to go by this system as well, because too many times I have tried to quantify my feelings about something, do the math (add up the little categories) and then go, "huh. That's not the number I thought I would come up with".

        I would add one thing to your system. Taking a page from my Yiddish-speaking friends, I would put "Meh" between "bad" and "ok". "Meh" gives a subtle gridation between "bad" and "ok" that I find to be very helpful. "Bad" is a negative category. I would not want to return to a bad place, for the negative qualities greatly outweigh the good qualities. "Ok" for me is a relatively positive category. If someone suggests we go to a place that I have rated "ok", I'll willingly go, as it was Ok, and I don't have any major problems with it. "Meh" implies that I don't think that the negative outweighs the positive, but that the restaurant isn't ok. There is something about the restaurant that doesn't excite me, I'm indifferent to it. It isn't outright bad, it's just "Meh". I won't as willingly go to a "Meh" restaurant. I'll try to wiggle out of it, and suggest other places. But I will refuse to go to a "bad" restaurant.

      2. I tend to look at three aspects of an eating place. Ambiance (is it an interesting and enjoyable environment), Food, and value. When I'm meeting friends or showing visitors around, ambiance is the most important factor.

        If I ever get around to making a scoring system, it would have to have 3 digits to express these qualities.

        1. Do i score... Aye i do... I love to score them because it show how much i love their food and the people... i do it akll the time... When I'm at papa's cafe` shop they know my drink and what i get and i still score... papa has a score sheet and he lets his people score on good his food is and things... my one place i went to over in the States was very good but they have a grade system its very differ..

          1 Reply
          1. re: love_london

            'my one place i went to over in the States was very good but they have a grade system its very differ..'

            How so, love london? Is it because they don't have a score sheet? Some places include with the check a, I guess, a 'feedback' score card. Asking you how you liked things and many other goofy things because they want you to come back. I always fill them out, and then I'm amused because I get things in the mail or via email from them.

            On the other hand, it does keep them in my mind for the next time I'm there.

            I keep records in my Palm - I can always look back and see if I liked the place .. or not.

          2. My husband scores his restaurants and inputs them in a spreadsheet so that he can track if he would eat at the restaurant again. So it's a very practical scoring system he uses:

            A: Good; He would eat there again on his own
            B: OK. Would only eat there if somebody else wanted to
            C: Terrible; Will never eat there under any circumstance

            He takes food and service into account. So if he liked the food but found the service absolutely deplorable, he will label it as a C. Thankfully, there aren't too many Cs in his spreadsheet.