More People Read User Reviews Than Restaurant Critics'

The scenarios are endless — your date scores reservations at a hot, new restaurant or your parents suggest dining at a neighborhood spot that you've never been to, or maybe out-of-town friends want to mix things up. So the question remains — what do you do before going to a restaurant you've never dined at? We pitched the query as a poll to our readers and rounded up the results. 

Surprisingly, less than half as many people rely on reviews from restaurant critics (14 percent) as compared to those who prefer recommendations from friends and user-review websites (30 and 42 percent, respectively). Rounding out the results, nearly 13 percent of poll-takers reported that they do nothing before dining at a restaurant for the first time. 

The poll data seems to indicate that the format of sources like Yelp! is preferred, perhaps due to the breadth of commentary that a user-generated site provides. It makes sense that so many people consult their friends for recommendations before trying out a new place, after all whose opinions would you trust more than your friends?

Is there something special you do before eating at a new restaurant? Join in the conversation by commenting below. 

The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.