December 27, 2011

We have often discussed the cool things crowdsourcing has been used to do, from creating Iceland’s Constitution to helping teachers. The 2012 TED winner is even based on crowdsourcing solutions to make a better world. But even we have to admit crowdsourcing isn’t always perfect. This point was made especially clear when we read OpenTable’s list of the top 100 restaurants in the nation.

Why Crowdsourcing Isn’t Always Perfect: OpenTable’s Top 100 Restaurant List Leaves Out San Francisco

The OpenTable list included eateries in 34 states and did give love to 10 in California. But zero, zip, no restaurants in San Francisco or the Bay Area were included in the top 100. No Gary Danko, no Fleur de Lys, no Boulevard. You can read OpenTable’s top 100 list here. We love food, and we’ve eaten at some pretty delicious places in the City — so we call foul.

This grievous error is not all OpenTable’s fault. The ranking was determined based on reviews provided by OpenTable diners between December 2010 and November 2011. So either the majority of people who ate at places in San Francisco didn’t love the food, or San Francisco diners are too lazy to give feedback. We bet the latter. Also with the rise of Yelp, more people are likely to give restaurant feedback on a shared forum than to just OpenTable.

This system highlights why crowdsourcing is an imperfect science. San Francisco is world-renowned for being a foodie city, so while we were wrongly left out of the top 100 list, we are still going to grub on.

What’s your favorite restaurant in San Francisco or the Bay Area? Let us know at [email protected].