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Watch out for fake restaurant reviews

If you ever travel to Brixham, a small fishing town in south-west England, don’t look for a restaurant named Oscar’s. Although the restaurant that served French cuisine received glowing reviews, something just wasn’t right about its listing on TripAdvisor, a popular travel website.

TripAdvisor FailThe reviews included praise along the lines of mind blowing, simply divine and culinary creations that “bordered on sorcery.” One reviewer even went as far as to say that the restaurant deserved a Michelin Star, a much sought after award in the culinary world. It received so many positive reviews that it became the 27th highest ranked restaurant in the town, ahead of 37 other restaurants.

The only problem is that after reading these very positive reviews, diners went to the address listed on TripAdvisor, and instead of finding fine dining, they found an alley filled with garbage.

TripAdvisor told The Telegraph, a newspaper in the United Kingdom, that with 60 new pieces of content submitted to the site every minute, the company can’t guarantee fake business listings and reviews don't make it on to their site.

It doesn’t help their reputation that the Oscar’s page was live on their site for more than two months, and stayed up on the site as an active listing even after two actual reviewers said the restaurant didn’t exist . In fact, TripAdvisor didn’t remove the listing until they were contacted by the newspaper.

The story of Oscar's is a good reminder to not always trust reviews on travel websites. They can be useful, but they’re not a be all, end all for restaurant recommendations. Instead, when you’re looking for restaurant recommendations, ask a local. Find out what their favorite po-boy shop is, or favorite place to enjoy mouth-watering jambalaya.

The staff here at all live and eat in New Orleans. We love dining in the Big Easy and sharing our thoughts about the culinary scene here. Our restaurant guide only includes places that we’ve enjoyed and where we can practically guarantee that you’ll have a great meal.

If you ever need a restaurant recommendation that must meet certain criteria, then feel free to contact us on Facebook. Our group of local foodies will help you find the perfect place, and free of charge. You just have to ask!

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