We Need Ratings for Restaurant Patrons, Too

Quartz writer says it would fix industry's broken reservations system
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2015 9:15 AM CDT
We Need Ratings for Restaurant Patrons , Too

You're familiar with restaurant ratings. But what about ratings for the people who eat at restaurants? At Quartz, Allison Schrager argues that it's time for just such a system because it would fix a major problem—the dysfunctional reservations system. As it stands now, restaurants lose money and time holding tables for people who make reservations and never show up, or show up late, or with half the number of people expected. A good ratings system could help restaurants—and patrons stuck cooling their heels at the bar waiting for a table to open up—avoid this aggravation. Some reservation apps such as OpenTable take steps in this direction, but the system is crying out for a comprehensive approach that takes note of both the good and the bad.

"A ratings system that rewards well-behaved diners as well as punishes no shows would create a huge incentive to maintaining status," writes Schrager. "Five-star diners who show up and behave themselves would get prime tables. Diners with fewer stars would only be offered less desirable times at less popular restaurants, and jerks would be shut out altogether. Knowing they are being rated would motivate diners to behave, and ratings would follow diners to different cities." Click for the full column. (Read more restaurant industry stories.)

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