Daniel Rogov wrote:In the present case how would we react if it were not Mr. Goldstein who had pulled it off but Woodward and Bernstein (of Watergate and Deep Throat fame). My guess is that we would be applauding them.
Not unless they were exposing criminal intent [as in Watergate] and there was a less obvious conflict of interest in the motivation for the exposure.
It is clearly possible to ridicule a system that relies heavily on the integrity of the organisation applying for an award and to question the sincerity of both that organsation and the WS but are people so certain that the system is being so abused as to be valueless and if so where is the evidence?
For that to be the case there would have to be a substantial number of participating restaurants with fraudulent proprietors constantly pissing off clients resulting in multiple continuing complaints. Is that so? Numbers? Names?
Just because some do cheat and all could doesn't mean that a significant number are doing so since there are obvious business debits for being caught.
The WS could certainly improve the situation: better checking of the lists against their database which could surely be automated if the submissions were required to be in an appropriate e.g. electronic format. Plus other routine checks that required a simple submission which could be automatically checked against the original. Plus enhancements to remote performance monitoring and complaints process and follow up etc. The WS say they already drop restaurants based on a complaints procedure.
IMO it would also be better to describe the process as a wine list rating than a restaurant award for excellence while making it absolutely clear that the WS ‘endorsement’ is no more than an acknowledgement that, if the restaurant delivers what it says it will, the wine list meets a good, very good or excellent level.
It appears that the WS recognise they have some issues to deal and have said they will be dealt with. Let’s see.