Frequently Asked Questions

What happened to the old rating systems?

We’ve decided to drop the numerical scores that we used to give to restaurants. Looking back on the old reviews, they seem to be wildly inconsistent, and you’re better off reading our actual words to get an idea as to whether we liked a place. If you don’t feel like reading the entire review, you can jump to the last paragraph to see our summary.

What’s up with Kira’s old rating system? (How often would Kira eat there?)

Kira chose a rating system of how often she would eat at the restaurant, rather than a more straight forward 4, 5 or 10 stars comparison.

She realizes that everybody eats out a different amount, so some people may get confused by her rating system, not knowing what is good or bad. Since Kira and Erik generally eat out once or twice a week, here is a general scale for reference:

  • Every day to once a month: Really good
  • Once a month to every 2 months: Pretty good
  • Every 2 months to every 4 months: Average
  • Every 4 months to every 8 months: Not so good
  • Every 8 months to once a year: Fairly bad
  • Less than once a year: Really bad

And in case you were wondering how she chooses her ratings, these are the general factors she uses:

  1. How much did she enjoy the food? 70%
  2. How expensive was it? 20%
  3. How was the service/atmosphere? 10%

What’s up with Erik’s old rating system? (Yums, oohs, ahs, and wows)

In an effort to be even more confusing than Kira, Erik used to rate restaurants on four different, obfuscatingly-named scales. He assigned a rating between one and five on each scale.

Yum: This is an extremely subjective measure of much Erik likes the taste of the food. A low yum score doesn’t necessarily mean that the food is badly prepared, merely that Erik didn’t like it. For example, if the gourmet restaurant Tripe and Kidneys opened up a location in Bloomington, Erik would likely give it a low yum rating, regardless of how much it might appeal to fans of haggis.

Ooh: This is Erik’s best guess as to the overall quality of the food. This takes into account the freshness of the food, the authenticity of dishes that claim to be authentic, and whether the food was cooked as expected. If a restaurant gets a low ooh score, then Erik thinks that the hoity-toity gourmet food critics will hate it. For example, if Erik ate at The Garlic and Mustard Express, there’s a pretty good bet that he’d give a high yum rating, but since the hot dogs are sometimes over done and there’s way too much garlic on the garlic burger for most people’s tastes, Erik would also give it a low ooh score.

Ah: This is how Erik rates consistency. High ah ratings get assigned to restaurants where the quality and taste doesn’t vary too much from dish to dish and from day to day. It’s quite possible for very bad restaurants to get very high consistency rates, as often happens with fast food chains.

Wow: Erik likes variety, so he thinks it’s important to include a rating that describes how unusual the food and dining experience is. High wow scores go to places with unusual items on the menu, that serve a wide variety of food, or that present a different kind of dining experience.

Why are your rating systems so confusing?

Because it’s more fun that way.


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