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toptable community rules and restaurant review guidelines

Community rules

User reviews on toptable are part of what makes our site special. They are there to help both diners who use our site, as well as our restaurant partners. For diners, we want to help you decide where to eat out, and to let your experience and feedback help others to research restaurants too. For restaurateurs, our aim is to provide useful feedback from your customers, and to help drive more bookings by providing customers with additional information they may need to make a decision.

We are able to maintain the high quality of reviews on our website by having standards that everyone must abide by:

  • Reviews should be honest and open.
  • Reviews should be submitted freely for the benefit of the toptable community and never in exchange for special treatment or personal gain.
  • toptable will not edit the text of reviews published on our website.
  • Reviews should be relevant and helpful.
  • The best reviews include not only how you felt about the restaurant but also explain why you felt that way. For additional guidance, please see our tips for writing a helpful review.
  • Reviews should be appropriate.
  • Reviews that are offensive, obscene, malicious or potentially libellous will be removed.
  • In addition, comments should focus solely on the restaurant being reviewed and avoid reference to other businesses.
  • Out of respect for the privacy of those who work in the restaurant, please do not use names or other identifying characteristics.

For more information on the terms of toptable’s ratings and reviews programme, please see our user agreement.

When submitting a review, diners can choose to identify themselves or create a nickname. Please see our privacy policy for further information.

Tips for writing a good restaurant review

The good:

The best reviews include practical, helpful information to help diners make their decision:

  • The restaurant name and town
  • What you had to eat
  • The occasion (was it a hot date? a quick pre-theatre bite? a business lunch?)
  • What you liked (brilliant recommendations? mouthwatering desserts?)
  • What you didn’t like (food too salty? inattentive service?)

Here is an example of a helpful review:

"I booked this restaurant for a ladies lunch - great ambience and interior, good cocktail selection and service. We each had 2 courses for £22 which, whilst good value, did not amaze me. I found the chicken main course a bit bland. I would recommend dining here but only a la carte."

The bad:

Eating out is a subjective experience and toptable is happy to publish critical and negative reviews, but we ask you not to include any of the following:

  • potentially libellous statements, like “I’ve heard there are rats in the kitchen.”
  • factually inaccurate statements like “They close at 7pm.”
  • irrelevant (no spam, please!)
  • unsubstantiated (i.e. “It was rubbish, don’t eat here” isn’t informative whereas “It was rubbish - our main courses were cold and bland. Don’t eat here.” is useful and would be published.)
  • email addresses, phone numbers or other contact details
  • ratings or reviews if you haven't actually eaten at the restaurant
  • profane or abusive comments

If your review does not meet these guidelines, we cannot publish it. If you spot any reviews that don't meet our guidelines, please email us at reviews@toptable.co.uk.

Please note that although we do our best to get your reviews up as quickly as possible, they may take up to seven days to appear on toptable.

Still have questions? Check out our reviews and ratings FAQ.