Restaurants - What are your own standards for accepting them?
Since the November 2020 criteria refresh, popular restaurants are listed in the eligibility criteria under the great place to be social category, but to this day, they still really struggle to get accepted. I'm hoping to use this post to get opinions from reviewers on what exactly it takes for people to vote favourably on restaurants, why some reviewers simply do not like them no matter how many bells and whistles they may have, and whether the criteria surrounding them could be worded in a better way for reviewers to make a more informed decision when they review restaurants. It would be even better if @NianticTintino @NianticGiffard and/or @NianticDanbocat could chime in with their own thoughts/opinions on my post and what their thoughts are about popular restaurants as wayspots as well, as I do think this is a conversation that needs to be had.
According to the acceptance criteria, as well as meeting at least one of the eligibility criteria (which they are explicitly mentioned as doing so), popular restaurants must also be safely accessible, a permanent location, and have accurate information in the title, description and picture. Most popular restaurants will already comfortably meet all of these criteria (you go there to be social and have a meal; most of the time you have to be able to walk into a restaurant to get your food; most restaurants spend years in the same building; and submitters should always make sure that what they're putting in their submissions is accurate and relevant).
This then leaves us with the rejection criteria. There is some overlap here with rejection criteria basically being the opposite of the acceptance criteria (which is perfectly logical), so ignoring those specific rejection criteria as I've already covered them in the acceptance criteria above, let's try to focus on any of the remaining rejection criteria that could realistically apply to a popular restaurant.
- A generic business, chain, or franchise that is not locally unique
Ah yes, the old generic business rejection criteria, which was removed from being a listed rejection reason, but still exists in the criteria itself. This obviously applies to places like McDonald's, Nando's, etc., but the wording of it also seems to specifically exclude locally unique restaurants from meeting this rejection criteria. So, if your popular restaurant is unique to your local area, that means it should not fall foul of this specific rejection criteria, right?
And looking at the rest of the rejection criteria, that's actually pretty much it for the rejection criteria that would realistically be applicable to most popular restaurants. Obviously there are some cases that would be outliers and meet other rejection criteria (school canteens, restaurants on military bases, adult themed restaurants (are those even a thing?), or submissions that are just downright abuse), but the vast majority of popular restaurants should only really have to contend with that single rejection criteria, assuming they do indeed pass the requirement of meeting the four acceptance criteria.
So, given the above information, popular restaurants should be fairly easy to get accepted... Except they aren't. Far from it, in fact. What I want to understand is why this is the case. Is there perhaps some difficulty when it comes to the word "popular" being a rather vague and subjective term? If so, what would convince you as a reviewer that a restaurant is indeed "popular"? Does it need to have existed for several years (if so, how many?)? Does it need to have won awards (and if so, what kind of awards? Would local awards suffice, or would they have to be national/international?)? Does it need to be in a food guide/have good ratings on Trip Advisor/Google Reviews?
Where do you as a reviewer set the bar for restaurants to be considered popular, and why do you set the bar where you set it? What makes the difference between you voting to accept a restaurant and voting to reject it?
I look forward to hearing people's opinions and thoughts on this (I'll answer this post myself as well with my own views), and hopefully we as a community can try to bring some more clarity to this (yes, I know, clarity on the Wayfarer Forum, it's a strange concept haha), as it definitely seems like restaurants need some help when it comes to getting some love and respect from both submitters and reviewers.