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Mediocrity isn’t excellence

My biggest gripe with the Scores on Doors program is that it disguises a measure of mediocrity as a measure of excellence.


It’s quite simple – if you see anything that is 5-star you expect it to be exceptional. You expect it to be the best.

With Scores on Doors, 5-star simply means they comply with the standards. Anywhere else it would be a “pass”. But with Scores on Doors passing gives you the best possible score available.

So it is making an acceptable performance look exceptional.

Why is this bad?

Because an exceptional restaurant has no benefit. A restaurant that goes beyond the minimum will receive no recognition of its efforts.

There is no benefit for a restaurant to put in the state of the art temperature monitoring system. There is no benefit for a restaurant to have exceptional training of staff. There is no benefit for a restaurant to have automated hand washing dispensers.

There is no benefit for a restaurant to be better than acceptable.

Bad is average

There is no 2-star or 1-star. It starts at 3-star.

But 3-star is meant to imply average. It’s the middle of the road on most other scales.

On Scores on Doors, the lowest score that is displayed is 3-stars. So a bad review gives an average result.

Failure is hidden

The third gripe is that failure is hidden. There is no requirement that a restaurant that failed to score 3-stars to do anything. Why not give them a big sign that says “FAILURE” or “CESS PIT”.

And restaurants that score only 3 or 4 star don’t have to display their poor performance.

So if the restaurant is doing poorly, just ignore it. If it fails, just ignore it.

A voluntary system is a joke. It fails to address the very people it is targeting.

It’s a lose/lose

Being totally blunt, it doesn’t reward excellence and it doesn’t punish failure. That is a lose/lose.

So what wins? Mediocrity.

As long as you do the minimum expected you will get 5-stars. As long as you don’t spend any more money beyond this, you maximise profits. There’s no benefit in being exceptional.

And if you bomb out totally, just don’t put up the results. It’s not like the customers are looking for your score card.

And even if they do see 3-stars, will it impact on business? No, because 3-stars means average and average is acceptable. It’s passable.

How about a balanced opinion?

Now for the balance. What is good about Scores on Doors?

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