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Oct 25, 2009 01:57 PM

Restaurant database updates?

Just curious about how often new restaurants are automatically added to the database. I ask that in terms of whether adding the latest and greatest new joint is worth it. If the updates are monthly that would be different than daily.

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  1. I believe it's monthly, but I'm not 100% sure. There may also be some lag time before our data provider has information on a brand new place, so if you want to review it and you're sure it's not already there, adding it is probably worth the trouble.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jacquilynne

      Could you please make sure that Engineering has a plan in place so that records from the data provider don't duplicate new places that users have added?

    2. I want to point out that is really hard to know how to add a new restaurant. You have to go to the bottom of this page:
      WHY? Why is this a secret?

      16 Replies
      1. re: Scargod

        Engineering is looking at making that a little easier to find. That said, we don't really want people adding places without being pretty certain they need to be added -- there's a lot more data out there, so hopefully a lot of places that people would have had to add in the old database will already be there.

        1. re: Jacquilynne

          Updates from our data provider are done monthly, so it's definitely worth it to go ahead and add a place if you want to start commenting on it right away. And, yes, we have a system in place to recognize duplicates, and not load new erroneous records into the database.

          We are also going to make 'add a restaurant/bar' easier to find, though to echo Jacquilynne's comment, with our new database most of the records should already exist, 'add a restaurant/bar' should only need to be used for newly opened places and/or carts, trucks, etc that might not be in our main dataset.

          1. re: CHOW HQ

            Thanks for the info.

            Here's the new Burger Bar record in SF. Is the data provider supplying the brief synopsis?

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              No. that's me.

              As I read Chowhound reports, I go into the record and update general info such as hours as well as provide a brief overview but absolutely NO opinion. It's not a review, just what type of restaurant. If you see event facilities, that is probably me that put info in that section.

              I do miss that you can no longer see who the last person to update the record was.

              I added the Burger Bar record after noting a report linked incorrectly to a restaurant in San Jose and the SF location didn't exist.

              I hope that there will be some Help for what happens when that review box is clicked.

              I have been having problems with short restaurant names. Estate in Sonoma, Q in SF. The drop down list has a limit of something like 10 names. Then I learned if you add the city, the correct restaurant will be added to the list ... for example .... Estate Sonoma

              For existing records, I'm cleaning up ... taking out duplicate tags for cuisine if the cuisine is in the dropdown. Ditto removing $$$ and feature information from the freeform tag field. Also updating new info such as the alcohol info

              I'm also moving review info into the correct section. I do wish the reviews around the web section was displayed prior to the Dig deeper section as it gets lost at the bottom. .

              I'm also putting significant Chowhound reports in that section. If you look at the SF Burger Bar record you will see that.

              While I love many of the new changes, one of the major ...major ... disappointments is that Dig Deeper section.

              After years of linking to significant reports to get to that info easily, to have years of work thrown out ... not happy. Not happy at all. .

              Yes, that section wasn't understood and most used it as a gps, but it was still a way to flag reports that were worth reading.

              I hope the changes coming up work, but I'm very skeptical. At least I can always get to a good report by adding it in the around the web section.

              I have a general question about Good to know ... It doesn't seem that Textile is the editor anymore. How to put a blank line between paragraphs?

              I've tried things from a number of editors as well as HTML <BR>. Nothing works

              I just put a period between paragraphs I want to break since it isn't that isn't very visible. However, It would be nice to know how to get a blank line between paragraphs. There is one that goes in and after that all paragraphs run together.

              1. re: rworange

                Thanks. The owner's name is Hubert KELLER, not Kelly. And "its" would be more correct than "their".

                The threads that were explicitly linked to Place records are supposed to be at the top of the Dig Deeper section. I haven't checked enough to be able to tell if that's true.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  No they are not. Even so, because of the GPS factor, there are lots of links from one sentence mentions and the sort is by most recent.

                  When 'more' is clicked, the sort then changes to relevance. In any case it is really difficult to find anything. Then with search being hinky, I've all but given up telling people to search or look at the restaurant record for relevant Chowhound reports.

                  Yeah, that Keller thing was an edit that didn't seem to take last night. I just cut and pasted the next lines from a Chowhound report, but made the change. I did some minor agonizing over the end of that sentence about prime quality beef as it seemed like an opinion so I dropped that today as well

                2. re: rworange

                  >I do miss that you can no longer see who the last person to update the record was.

                  Me too. And maybe more important, the date of the last update.

                  And to head off on a tangent ... About that problematic "Date Opened" field: Even if it's filled in, it doesn't seem to display on the page. To read the field, you have to edit the record. So what's the point?

                  I agree, BTW, that we shouldn't have to know the exact day a place opened. We rarely do. And soft openings and "friends and family" nights make it even harder to pin down THE opening date. That should really be an open field. Forcing users to cough up a specific day just discourages them from adding info that might be helpful (e.g., Joe's Stinky Tofu House opened in "summer 2009").

                  1. re: squid kun

                    The intent of the date opened field was just to feed into the 'What's New' section of the various regional hubs, rather than to be a general source of opening date info.

                    And even for those purposes, we aren't that worried about the specificity of the date. We can't pick the half a dozen most recently opened places based on random information like "summer 2009" or "1995ish" but when I'm entering opening dates for new Toronto restaurants, I don't worry too much if I'm off by a few days or even a couple of weeks. There are a few staff members who've been asked to try and keep on top of at least a few openings a week for specific area so that the 'what's new' section does have something new. If you want to fill in that information, please feel free, but don't worry about getting the dates perfect.

                    1. re: Jacquilynne

                      >If you want to fill in that information, please feel free, but don't worry about getting the dates perfect.

                      In the rare cases where I know an exact date (usually an official opening, not a soft opening), I'll enter it. If I have a rough idea but no exact date, I guess I'll just leave Date Opened blank and enter what I do know under Good to Know.

                      1. re: squid kun

                        Sure, that works.

                        You can also just enter an approximate date in date opened, that's what all the staff members are doing when they don't have a precise date -- and as you've noted, opening dates for restaurants tend to be kind of nebulous in general, so we rarely do.

                    2. re: squid kun

                      Some of this stuff can just go in the "Good to Know" text box, though I don't know how that affects searchability and integration of keywords.
                      Are we eventually going to be able to search by opening dates?

                      1. re: Scargod

                        Why would you want to?

                        I don't think there's ever been any plan to make that information publicly visible, never mind searchable, but if there's a demand for it, I suppose it's something we could consider.

                        1. re: Jacquilynne

                          Because it is what Chowhounds DO! Chriminy! We Hounds talk all the time about "what is that new place that is opening up where so-in-so's place used to be".
                          Seriously, it might be worth knowing what's really new in an area or what has stood the test of time.
                          I mean, it's part of the database. Why is it there for people to fill in? It "could" be (easily), part of our search criteria.

                3. re: CHOW HQ

                  How new will this new database be? I have found several restaurants in CT that have been around a good while (over a year), and weren't included in the one we have now.

                  1. re: CHOW HQ

                    Where can I submit restaraunt information to update an existing listing? I was only able to add a photo, but not the hours of operation or any of the static fields.

                    1. re: chowmenot

                      You can send factual updates to and I'll make them for you.