We have owned and run a boutique restaurant in Fitzroy Melbourne called 'Mon Ami' for some 15 years, have been ranked within the top 2% of restaurants globally and are lucky enough to be full most of the time.
With the rise and rise of everyone's capacity to post their opinions online there are now a plethora of sites which purport to just publish others comments without bias. Unfortunately this is rarely the case where defamation is rife and so called 'algorithms' are advertised as perfect yet fail time after time.
Zomato is such a site.
I have complained to Zomato without success with just the latest below:
In simple terms, you are
attempting to separate restaurants on an overall spectrum [bell curve] by
arbitrarily [in both senses – your use of unrestrained authority and on the
basis or random thought] changing the ranking pursuant to the number of
businesses on a ranking rather than independent reviewer scores even though
even though the respective businesses may be vastly different. This is a
mathematical nonsense because you are not changing scores based on
independent grades but based on your assessment without having been to each
establishment. For example you mathematically compare as equals say a pizza
shop and a fine dining restaurant where the offerings are different as are
the clients. A dish which takes 2 days to prepare has nothing in common
with a dish which takes 15 minutes, yet you ignore the reviewer and
arbitrarily change their score . Undoubtedly, your issue is that you will have a lot of
restaurants on 3.5/5 because people tend to vote around the mean. Instead,
separation should be based on a more extensive spectrum [maybe out of 100 in
decimals from .1 to 10.0] and mathematically weighted by a number of
parameters such as cuisine, service, ambience etc. All of this without
independent mathematical influence by Zomato.
It’s the reviewer which
should determine scores, not Zomato.
In our case our score drops to 3.9 when
the average of actual reviewers scores is circa 4.5 just because there are others on the same score. Just common sense says
look at the reviews and establish whether we sit at 3.9 or 4.5 [?].
all this was just esoteric argument then it would be an interesting mathematical exercise but in part our business is affected by Zomato based on their changes. If a potential clients tipping point is say 4.2 then we would be ignored despite past clients ranking us at 4.5. This can cost us business and is most certainly inappropriately influenced by Zomato AND it misrepresents our business and is thus possibly unlawful.
In addition, we treasure both professional reviewers and blogging diners and take all comments seriously. However, we do get annoyed when some disaffected keyboard warrior says nice things to us and ferrets off to anomalously write vitriol. [Why would anyone do this?] Thankfully, these cases are very rare albeit there was one quickly refuted [by others] chunk of inappropriate vitriol posted recently on Zomato which we demanded to have modified to remove the defamatory comments. [What sort of people do this?]
Note that Zomato are responsible for publishing defamation when they are in full knowledge of content.
This unfortunately gets much more important for a
new restaurant depending on public reviews to build business. Zomato can
kill them based on their so called algorithm.
Zomato, you need to
deal with your methods.