UK's Good Food Guide to Overhaul Restaurant Ratings System

The Good Food Guide in the UK is ditching its numeric ratings.

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The Good Food Guide in the UK is ditching its numeric ratings.

© Shutterstock

Britain's restaurant bible, The Good Food Guide, is revamping the way it rates restaurants, pubs and cafés.

It is ditching its 1-10 numeric ratings system, with new publisher Adam Hyman saying it was confusing and "a detailed review of the food, ambiance and overall hospitality, along with the pricing, is far more relevant and useful".   

Instead, entries to The Good Food Guide will now be rated ‘good’, ‘very good’, ‘exceptional’, or ‘world class’. 

The Good Food Guide has reviewed the best restaurants, pubs and cafés across Great Britain for more than 70 years, based on anonymous inspections combined with feedback from readers.

The new system will give entries one of its four quality ratings based on four metrics: uniqueness, deliciousness, warmth, and strength of recommendation.

Rating of 1 "implies a fail"

In order to be included in the Guide, a restaurant or bar must rank at least ‘good’ in all four categories and its overall rating can only be as high as its lowest score in any category.

Hyman said in an online article that under the numeric system, a cooking score of 1 was supposed to represent "capable cooking with some inconsistencies" and 10 "a show of faultless technique at every service" and was the highest accolade the Guide could give.    

"As a numerically challenged youngster, the idea of getting 1 out of 10 reminds me of my maths scores and implies a fail. Yet getting such a score in the old version of the Guide qualified as a pass and was a positive thing," he wrote.

The Guide, which had more 1,200 reviews in its 2020 edition, has used the 1-10 ratings system since 1998 according to Big Hospitality.

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