Wanna get our awesome news?

Subscribe to our newsletter!


Actually we won’t spam you and keep your personal data secure

As the voice of the Indian restaurant industry, we represent the interests of 500000+ restaurants & an industry valued @ USD 4 billion. Whether a chain or independent restaurant, the NRAI is here to help every step of the way. Join us!




Shrabasti Mallik finds out that it is difficult to set a standard rating system for restaurants because of the disorganised state of the F&B industry.

It’s weekend and you are puzzled to find out a new dining place in the city. Ideas will keep pouring in from friends and colleagues. Your ostentatious neighbour would also start giving unsolicited suggestions. Swamped with options, you finally resort to popular food rating sites to check out few of the best places to dine. You find a place which has been liked by many, with several customers having overwhelming feedbacks about the cuisine and its ambience. Finally, you make your decision.

How often has it happened that your dining experience did not live up to the expectations that you had framed? Well, you are not alone in that. Online ratings are often misleading, if not biased. Not only does it confuse a customer but also leads to negative reviews. Having relished an array of delicacies and rating the whole restaurant poor just because of one particular dish on the menu not satisfying the palate is unreasonable and unfair.

According to Amit Aggarwal, owner of Junglee Billee, today the customers have access to information through portals, which tends to form preconceived notions.

The question here is how, and in what ways are customers being misled but why can we not have a standard rating system like the West? We spoke to a few restaurant owners and came to the conclusion that for setting up a uniform system across the country, we require a highly organised FnB industry.

Why not?

Vidit Gupta, owner, Cafe Dalal Street says, “The restaurant industry is highly disorganised in India due to diverse cultures and different tastes. It becomes really difficult to follow a standard rating system. It can only be possible if the government intervenes and introduces a method at the Centre or  if an international body like Michelin Star is interested in setting up a system for us.”

Sumit Goyal, owner of Gastronimica gave us a different view. He drew a parallel of why we cannot compare the scenario in India to the West. “Western countries aren’t corrupt at a root level like India. Our governance makes restaurateurs’ life already very tough with laws which have not been updated for the last 50 years,” he points out.

Having a positive review is undoubtedly good, but a handful of people also post negative reviews based on just their experience. “They might like something at the restaurant and at the same time another reviewer might have a different opinion. It varies depending on the likes and tastes of a an individual and one should understand about how these portals work,” says Paritosh Mittal, owner, Londoners — Bistro & Pub.


Setting up a common and standard system will also bring along a few disadvantages and a few obstacles. Goyal adds, “Currently, it is a disorganised market and it would require a lot of structural challenges to bring about a huge change, which might act as a barrier for new entrants.”

Sherry Anne Sudan, director of marketing, En, adds, “The global standard rating system might be a difficult proposition in India due to practical challenges. There are no well-defined cumulative restaurant listings or regulations. People would mostly follow the well-positioned web portals and food reviewers, like religion, which is a typical norm in a closed culture nation like ours.”

Kishore Kumar Bhagat, manager of F&B at Radisson Blu, Paschim Vihar sums it up by strongly pitching for standardisation as a solution that one can adapt, but it may have its pros and cons. Standardisation of a rating system in India can only happen if the online reviews are judged by a common platform, comprising of Industry’s experts and renowned food critiques.

Next time you decide to make a perception of a restaurant based on popular ratings, just remember that someone may not like that creamy bowl of mushroom soup like you do.

Source: The Pioneer
(Photo: restaurantmartinwishart)

Recommended for you