Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Why should I read these reviews and not go to Zagat or someone else?
A: We have nothing against Zagat. Sure, it’s a multi-million dollar empire that’s too good to review 99% of the places we do. That’s okay. They sell their books and even charge you (monthly or yearly, your choice!) to access premium content on their website. Clearly, they exist to placate holier-than-thou bistros selling $50 slices of cake and $20 mixed drinks, and yes, they’ll offer up adjective-laden 75 word reviews and a clearly superior scoring system on a scale of 30 (wtf?). We envy their balance sheet, indeed. Here on Chewru, though, we’ll never hit you up for cash to read what essentially is an *opinion*. You can even vote, comment, and write your own review absolutely free. We try not to get too full of ourselves and try to stay relatively out of the way with our advertising. We’re real people, of varying backgrounds and tastes, and think we reflect a broader reach of ‘real Americans’ than Zagat or anyone else for that matter. Chewru.Com is run out of a one-room apartment and we dont have to worry about making payroll or hiring a publicist. We can focus on our content, and build what we think will be the best user-provided restaurant website out there. =)
Q: How do I vote on a restaurant you’ve reviewed?
A: Check out this page for step-by-step instructions.
Q: Can I change my vote?
A: You sure can, but it’s a pain on our end (hey, we’re honest!). Just email us with the restaurant name, approximately when you voted, and what you want the new score to be. We may need your IP address to verify we’re editing the right vote.
Q: I noticed that you have a certain fast food place, cafe, diner, etc ranked higher than a clearly superior restaurant? What gives?
A: Ratings are compared against peers in the same category, not compared against all peers. When we rate a diner a perfect 5.0, we’re not saying that it’s better than a fancy french restaurant, we’re saying it’s better than all the other diners we’ve reviewed.
Q: Do you ever change your ratings?
A: Yes, occasionally. This can be because we had a significantly different experience (which shows the place is either getting better or worse) the second time around. Also, we will not give a restaurant a perfect score unless we’ve gone twice.
Q: How do you assign the score?
A: Our reviews look for some key elements: appearance/atmosphere, service, quality of the food, and price/value. Depending on the author, these factors will be weighted differently. In general, the two largest contributors to score are the bang for the buck and the quality of the food.
Q: Your scores are too high/too low for (restaurant here). How do I request someone to change them?
A: You can’t. To counterbalance the opinion of the reviewer, however, you can post a comment and vote for the score you think the place should get. If enough people strongly disagree with the reviewer, it might make them decide to go back and give it another try.
Q: Do you accept payment in exchange for a good review?
A: This is against our policy and is not allowed. The website is designed to reflect the views of everyday people, and everyday people aren’t getting payoffs to say the shrimp scampi was the best they’ve ever had. If we have reason to believe one of our writers is being ‘paid off’, they will be banned from participation on this site, and forfeit any revenue sharing they may be entitled to.
Q: Can my restaurant request a review?
A: Yes, but we’re limited by the available rechewers in your area.
Q: Do rechewers identify themselves in person?
A: They can, but only after the bill has been delivered to the table. The point of identifying oneself as a rechewer is simply to draw traffic to the website, their review, and create activity in the user commenting and voting. If you are a service staff of a restaurant and you were notified that someone is reviewing your establishment for Chewru before receiving the final bill, please write us and let us know. We’ll make sure the review is not published. Rechewers giving notice of their identity before the final bill are likely trying to exploit the system, get freebies, or otherwise give themselves an experience the typical person would not receive.
Q: I am a restaurant owner/manager and I really think the reviewer who came to our establishment just totally got it wrong. How can I make things right?
A: We understand that there may have been mitigating circumstances (wait staff short handed, acts of god, equipment problems, etc..) that occasionally happen from time to time. You are free to comment on the review and explain what might of happened. It will be entirely in the discretion of the reviewer whether to a) acknowledge the mitigating issues and b) return and re-review your restaurant. If you’re honest and forthright in your comments, it’s more than likely that the community will consider this.
Q: Why do some comments have the Chewru logo next to them and others have random graphics? How can I get my own graphic?
A: They’re called gravatars. It’s simple to get your own. Go to www.gravatar.com and register an email account with them, and upload your gravatar. When you post a comment with the same email address you used with Gravatar.Com, Chewru will automatically download and apply it to your comments. It’s a neat service that a lot of blogs do, so you never have to upload avatars for individual sites.
Q: If I use my ‘real’ email for a comment, what will you do with it?
A: We might email you regarding your comment (rare), but that’s about it. We won’t spam you or sell your email to anyone. If you sign up for our email list, you’ll get notified when we post new content, and that’s it.
Q: Does Chewru do link or banner exchanges?
A: We can, depending on the type of website, anticipated exposure, and typical content. Email us if you’re interested in that.