OpenTable Restaurant Reviews Will Now Show Your Name and Profile Photo

Anonymous reviews served with a side of snark may soon be a thing of the past.

<p>Tiffany Hagler-Geard / Bloomberg via Getty Images</p>

Tiffany Hagler-Geard / Bloomberg via Getty Images

The restaurant world swirls with anonymous reviews served with a side of snark, causing consternation for restaurateurs and chefs who find it difficult to dispute these mysterious detractors. But those days may soon be over.

OpenTable, the popular restaurant reservations platform, is taking steps to thwart the practice. This week, it notified diners that their identities would soon be partially disclosed. In an April 11 email sent to people who had previously posted comments, OpenTable said it would begin posting diners’ first names and profile photos on all reviews, with the change taking effect on May 22.

The San Francisco-based company, which says its app includes 136 million verified reviews, said the shift was meant to “build on the credibility of our review program.”

Related: Danny Meyer Claims AI and Human Hospitality Can Peacefully Coexist

“At OpenTable, we strive to build a community in which diners can help other diners discover new restaurants, and reviews are a part of that,” the email read. “We’ve heard from you, our diners, that trust and transparency are important when looking at reviews….Our goal in making these updates is to give you even greater confidence in the reviews — and when booking a new restaurant.”

OpenTable did not immediately respond to Food & Wine asking for more details about the change.

In the past, it allowed diners to designate a “review name” when leaving feedback, allowing people to camouflage their identities — and their salty comments. But not only will that change for future posts; it’s also going to affect previous reviews, too.

Related: The New Rules of Dining Out

OpenTable said it would retroactively update past reviews with diners’ identifying information. And for concerned diners, the email contained instructions on how to edit or delete past reviews — in addition to how to add or delete a profile photo, plus a link to the company’s privacy policy.

Founded in 1998 by Chuck Templeton, a former marketing expert who saw the difficulty his wife faced in making restaurant reservations, OpenTable is one of the earlier restaurant reservations apps to make its way to market. To date, it lists more than 50,0000 restaurants worldwide. Tripadvisor followed in 2000 — with Yelp coming into the scene in 2004 and Toast in 2011.

Related: Who Owns a Condiment — a Company or a Culture?

With restaurants, cafes, and bars facing more financial challenges than ever, combatting unsigned reviews only adds to their headaches. OpenTable’s move could help the industry — if its members are willing to go partially public.

If not, anonymous criticism will continue to take a bite out of their business.

For more Food & Wine news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on Food & Wine.