June 30, 2020
Dear Infatuation Readers,
In its 11 years of existence, The Infatuation has built a community around trust. You, our readers, have trusted us to help you find the best restaurants for celebrations, dates, good days, bad days, and random Tuesdays. More recently, you’ve trusted us to help you find the best spots for delivery and takeout, and to find reliable information on the reopening of restaurants.
So we hope you’ll trust us with a big change we’re announcing today: we’re getting rid of ratings on The Infatuation. Allow me to explain.
Our 8.7s and 7.2s were a useful tool for recommending restaurants. But as we adapt to a changing reality, we strongly believe that removing ratings is the right move for the current moment, and also for the years ahead.
First and foremost, as writers and editors, we simply can’t imagine going into a restaurant and giving out a 7.1 or a 6.7 or an 8.2 any time soon. Restaurants are facing the most profound changes and challenges in their existence. How could we possibly go in and fairly rate them within the next year? Or the next two years? Would our old ratings be accurate? Today and in the near future, rating restaurants on a numerical scale is not the best way to use our platform, and it’s not particularly useful to anyone.
But we also think we can serve our audience better without ratings in the longer term. We’ve heard both anecdotally and in user testing that some readers found the ratings confusing and hard to decode. Even among ourselves, we found we sometimes had different ideas about what an 8.0 meant, and what distinguished something from being a 4.5 or a 5.5, and what the nuances of a 6.9 vs. a 7.0 were. The ratings system was forcing both our writers and our readers to speak in a language that had unclear rules. As we aim to be as inclusive a publication and product as possible, removing the ratings is a change that just makes sense.
So what can you expect from us in a world without ratings? Rest assured that we will keep covering restaurants - and more thoroughly than ever. In fact, as we re-prioritize our time and change up our once-rigid review calendar, we think you’ll find our team able to cover more neighborhoods and a broader range of restaurants than ever before. We’ll also be focusing on keeping you informed about openings, closings, and the changes happening to restaurants in your city right now. To be clear, reviews will remain available on our site and app.
While we won’t be giving out 9.0s anymore, we will continue to find new ways to spotlight special restaurants. In the coming months, we’ll be working on a new system to highlight those places – a system that makes sense for the moment we’re in.
We don’t know exactly what the future of restaurants and dining will look like, but we’ll be here figuring it out with you every step of the way.
Thank you for trusting us.
Editor In Chief