Cracking the Trip Advisor Restaurant Code

by Evil HR Lady on July 12, 2017

Some people travel to see sightsI travel to eat. And, since there is only a limited amount of meals you can eat on any given trip, if you want to make the most of those, you use online tools to help you find restaurants. TripAdvisor is my favorite but sometimes the ratings can be pretty silly and flat out mysterious as to how other people drew such conclusions. So, my husband and I, in the interest of science, set out to crack the TripAdvisor restaurant rating code by visiting almost all of the top 100 restaurants in our town (Basel, Switzerland). Here’s what we found out, and hopefully it will be of help to you.

Check the Language

If you’re traveling outside of your home country, you’ll be tempted to read only reviews written in a language you understand–most likely English. The problem is, many English language reviews in non-English speaking countries are written by tourists. People like you who don’t know the local cuisine. They may say, “Oh, this is a 5-star Moroccan restaurant!” but frankly, this is the only Moroccan restaurant they have been to, so their judgment is questionable. Look at reviews written in the local language. You can interpret the stars, no problem and Google Translate can give you a pretty good picture of what the people said.

To keep reading, click here: Cracking the Trip Advisor Restaurant Code

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dorothy July 12, 2017 at 8:11 pm

Excellent post!

I still occasionally ask a likely-looking hotel employee for a recommendation: Where would you eat if you could go only one place in your town?

This practice dates back 50 years and an overnight stay in Eureka, California. My dad asked the hotel clerk where to have dinner. The clerk referred us to a place we would have NEVER found on our own: the fishermen’s co-op. We could choose any seafood we wanted — caught that day — and the kitchen cooked it for us. We ate on paper plates at a picnic table, and enjoyed the best seafood dinners of our young lives!

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Chris K. July 12, 2017 at 9:58 pm

After reading this, I checked the Tripadvisor reviews for my town in Tennessee. The ratings were laughable. The worst restaurants in town had the same number of stars as many of the best. A couple of the best did make it to the top of the list, but after that, it was totally unreliable.

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