As I wrote in my previous post, I will be pursuing NBC’s new restaurant review aggregator/blog, Feast. In future posts, I will conduct my research on how the site works by using places in the neighborhood where I live (Morningside Heights) as a test. I plan to talk with restaurant-goers as well as restaurant management and servers to see if they’re aware of the site, whether it’s relevant to them, if they try to influence the ratings, etc. For now, here’s an overview of what the site is and how it works:
Elements of the site
The site was founded by Ben Leventhal, the same guy who started Eater, a popular and renowned food blog. Feast includes blog, maps, videos, photos, and a searchable database of restaurants. Social media is also incorporated, allowing you to make your own list of preferred restaurants and see others’ lists as well.
According to Broadcasting and Cable, “Feast features a scoring system that brings together a wide range of reviews, ratings and opinions and produces what it calls a definitive score known as the Feast Rank.” The Epicurious post does note that Feast has not disclosed either the sources it aggregates from OR how the sources are rated. Supposedly heavy-hitter critics like the NY Times’ Sam Sifton and New York Magazine’s Adam Platt have the ability to “move the needle” more than a Yelp review, but it is not clear by how much.