Leading restaurant puts the boot into Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor

Top London restaurant L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon is leading the call for Trip Advisor to overhaul its popularity ranking system over accusations the feature is unfair.

The Michelin starred outfit is trying to force the hospitality review website into a U-turn over the system as it believes it does not fairly reflect the current reality of many restaurants.

Despite acknowledging that the reviews on sites such as Trip Advisor are useful in helping restaurants ensure high standards, it feels the website is undermined by the ranking system it adopts.

Peggy Li, marketing and communications manager of L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, said that although the restaurant, and others like it, use the website to make improvements based on customer feedback, the ranking of restaurants can still be affected from earlier poor reviews.

This means some restaurants are stuck with a poor rating that does not reflect the reality of what diners are experiencing in the here and now.

“Whilst of course customers should be able to give honest feedback about their experiences, after some time these must be deemed as not relevant any longer,” she reasons. “Instead, if the ranking is based only on reviews from within a year, then browsers of Trip Advisor will be getting more accurate information and their experience of restaurants will bear relevance to what they have read and seen on Trip Advisor.”

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon notes that although Trip Advisor does claim to add some weighting to ‘recent’ reviews for the popularity rating, it also adds huge weight to the quantity and quality of reviews left.

It argues that it is inevitable that when a restaurant is not doing as well, more people will write reviews about it and when it is doing well arguably less will be left. This makes the ‘weighting’ given to the age of reviews less helpful to restaurants who have managed to make admirable improvements having previously experienced trickier times. The quantity of reviews left may then decrease despite diner experience improving.

In short, claims L’Atelier, even if an improved restaurant receives three or four positive reviews a week, it will not outweigh the 10 to 12 negative ones that have been left in previous years.

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