UK consumers give sustainable seafood feedback

Published on
August 7, 2014

Around 800 United Kingdom consumers have signed up to give feedback on restaurants’ seafood sustainability efforts.

Just four months after restaurant sustainability guide Fish2Fork launched the mobile DinerRatings platform, many consumers are trying out the rating service.

Here’s how it works: at restaurants, consumers can pull up DinerRatings on their mobile devices, log in, and then answer five or six questions related to sustainability.

For example, one of the questions is, “Can you see any of these on the menu or specials board? (Tick all that apply): pollock, bluefin tuna, anything marked MSC, shark, sardines, mussels.

”The consumers’ answers are automatically submitted to Fish2Fork, which then publishes the assessment on its web site. “The diner is not reviewing or rating the restaurant. They are answering a few questions, such as whether the restaurant serves tropical prawns and a number of other seafood species,” Lewis Smith, editor at Fish2Fork, told SeafoodSource. “We award points and they are added up. The restaurant rating is dependent upon that score.”
 
Still in soft launch in the U.K., Fish2Fork plans to expand the service to France, Spain and possibly Belgium later this year.

“We are trying to get it as user-friendly as we can. We need to minimize the number of address fields [consumers are required to enter] and make some other alterations,” Smith said.

To use DinerRatings, consumers need not be familiar with the sourcing and purchasing practices of restaurants. Instead, diners simply report on seafood information that restaurants are providing.

“When restaurants give clear information on sourcing, it is a good indicator on whether they behave sustainably. If they are giving all of the information, it means they are paying attention and knowledgeable,” Smith said.

The results from DinerRatings are not as complete as the typical Fish2Fork guide, which reviews 1,000 restaurants on its web site. However, consumers’ feedback “will give us an indication of where else we should review and which restaurants we should engage with,” Smith said.

Contributing Editor

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