Food Flash

Renzell: Extreme Restaurant Elitism Wrapped In Data Driven Analytics

Is Renzell, another restaurant rating app, really needed ?

Renzell is a new venture whose business model aims to create an exclusive “club” based on a restaurant’s data and rankings submitted by diners who pay for the privilege of participating in a 70 question survey of their experiences at top restaurants around the country.

If you are a restaurant owner you can subscribe and get all of the analytics based on the surveys that the members submit -for the low price of $500 -$1500 per year. At the moment Renzell membership is free to dining enthusiasts.

To become a member you have to submit to a survey and validate yourself as an elite diner who frequents the most upscale establishments in New York, San Francisco and Chicago. There are already 2000 member/reviewers who may be ” dying for this information”.  We think though that nobody is dead yet.

There is nothing on Renzell  that you won’t be able to find on Yelp, Zagat, Michelin Guide and the many others.  According to founder Bo Peabody, “We’re trying to root out subjectivity. What we’re doing is scientific.”   Yes, but with all the survey science and algorithms the ratings correspond very closely to the top rated Yelp and Zagat rankings.

Extensive data on restaurants is nice to have, but, most of it does not add to the basic information that one needs to decide where to go to eat, even among diners that frequent the most exclusive places.  It may very well be that all of that additional data available on Renzell tends to add to the clutter – in the same way the plethora of “amazing” Yelp and Zagat comments and reviews do.

When dining at the “top of the top” of the most exclusive restaurants there is always the expectation that everything will be nearly perfect. Most of the initial Renzell ratings indicate that overall these expectations will be met. Renzell rankings for: best wine pairings, best hospitality, best décor, best cocktails, best service and best value are superfluous. The best value ranking could probably be the most useful, but, does this really matter? Most participants in the elite world of high end dining pay whatever the price is anyway. Value is very subjective.

And what’s with the name Renzell. Hope they didn’t spend a lot of money on consultants for this one. An Ebonic name generator would have done just as well. Here are a few more names we could have given for free:


Denzell  “all good all the time”


“SamZell …must be back’n it”


“Fo shizzle ma rizzle”

And Btw they give out plaques to restaurants with a beautifully scripted R  (Renzell). Oh wow!



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