New Rating System Rattles New York's Restaurant Scene
Tripod.com founder Bo Peabody takes a data-driven approach to dining.
There's nothing that speaks to the competitive spirit of New Yorkers more than a data-driven ranking of the city's favorite restaurants. And now, joining the likes of Zagat, the Michelin Guide and vox populi sites like Yelp, comes Renzell, a 2,000-member-strong consumer survey system run by Bo Peabody, a Massachusetts entrepreneur, who's looking for a more scientific method to evaluate dining experiences.
"The world of data collection has taken over every industry except for restaurants," Peabody told the New York Times. "The audience we're going after is dying for this information. We're trying to root out subjectivity. What we're doing is scientific."
Here's how "scientific" it is: 2,000 survey-takers who have either self-identified as patrons of "upscale restaurants" in New York City take a "comprehensive survey—a holistic look at the entire restaurant experience," the site explains. The survey, which comprises 70+ questions, covers topics including cocktails, design, hospitality, food, service, value, vibe, and wine/sake/beer. From these surveys, the Renzell's team culls "hundreds of thousands of data points" to weight against "member preferences through our proprietary algorithm" and out shoots the "most accurate ratings."
Currently sitting at the top of Renzell's debut chart?
1. Eleven Madison Mark with a score of 94.99
2. Momofuku Ko with a score of 93.63
3. Atera with a score of 93.05
4. Daniel with a score of 92.56
5. The NoMad with a score of 90.77
6. Betony with a score of 90.26
7. Le Bernardin with a score of 89.05
8. Gramercy Tavern with a score of 88.59
9. Blue Hill with a score of 87.93
10. Jean Georges with a score of 87.91
To be fair, "It's not fraud-proof," Peabody told the Times, in regards to survey-takers subjectivity and self-selection (they're not required to submit receipts or any other proof they've dined at the restaurant). Renzell is also hoping to sell subscriptions for the data gathering service to restaurants—for $499 to $1,499 annually.
If Peabody's name sounds familiar, it's because you're an early adopter of the internet—and he was one of the co-founders of Tripod.com, a now-defunct web hosting service from the '90s that was sold to Lycos in 1998.