Those still believing that review websites such as Tripadvisor offer only honest customer opinions of restaurants should know that such establishments are being offered positive reviews for £4 each.

According to a report in the Daily Telegraph the MD of London restaurant Gauthier, Soho, James Lewis, was contacted by a Mr Suhayal Malik offering this service recently, and which he declined. However Lewis has warned that there are companies now set up to provide fake glowing reviews on review websites, this deception made easier by the fact that Tripadvisor don’t scrutinise entries especially carefully, nor ask for proof that a visit has ever been made.

For our money the better options than Tripadvisor are the good independent restaurant review guides you pay for, such as Hardens where scores are compiled from the submissions of 6,250+ diners. For the record this year’s Hardens gives Gauthier an “exceptional” for its French food and service and a “very good” for its decor, an honest rating the restaurant hasn’t had to pay £4 for.

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