5 on Your Side

No "Hidden Messages" in Restaurant Reports

Posted September 10, 2009 5:39 p.m. EDT

I recently received an e-mail asking about how we choose restaurants. The viewer questioned whether our personal preferences play a role and if there are any “hidden messages” in the segments. I want you to know that our system does not allow for "random choices." In other words, we report on the lowest scoring restaurants no matter what. That ensures there is no room for debate or controversy with restaurants whose owners might feel we're playing favorites, who feel they shouldn't be included because I eat there, because they advertise or whatever other reason.

Beyond that, several times a year we air segments we call Restaurants by Request. That's where viewers e-mail and tell us which eateries they want to hear about! We do that since our regular reports focus on the top and bottom scoring restaurants. Most places score somewhere in between, so without Restaurants by Request— you wouldn’t ever hear about those places.

So whether it’s our regular weekly segment, or Restaurants by Request, I assure you my personal preferences never play a role and that there are no “hidden messages.” Unfortunately, I’ve had to report on some of my favorite places – some who are owned or operated by friends. They don’t like it, I don’t like it. But I do like that our selection system keeps it that way!

About this Blog:

In addition to the stories you see on TV, Monica is always looking for ways to help consumers find deals and avoid fraud. She'll blog about what you need to know here.