The quest to create Table Sage began in 2018, after several poor experiences in highly rated restaurants. So many questions arose from those supposed “best of” meals:
What is really behind the ratings that millions read and trust blindly every year? What has changed—or not changed—in the industry lately to make recommendations go from wonderful to irrelevant? And what is leading an increasing number of recognized chefs to give back their awards, or worse, to go to extremes when they don’t receive them?
It became clear that how we evaluate eateries has not changed very much in the past decades, or even in the past century. The global restaurant rating industry has been myopically focused on food as a product, with the presentation, taste, and technical skill of dishes trumping all other factors involved in dining for years. Small steps towards inclusion aside, we are still working with international rating guidelines that favor only a handful of cities, the West, male chefs, and French-style cooking. And they have come nowhere close to connecting with where the food industry will be if we don’t begin to address major topics like the environment and hunger.
Enter Table Sage, the first bigger picture restaurant rating platform. The mission of this company is to propose a more conscious complement, if not alternative, to current rating systems.
In addition to considering cuisine, its process will survey the key elements of experience, story, sustainability, and diversity— ones that are currently being ignored or are not being included fast enough elsewhere. It will provide transparent, expert reviews alongside validated community feedback and begin by showcasing food cultures from around the world that are burgeoning but not readily on most critics’ maps. It will be to the benefit of not only eaters but also to restaurants, in order to inspire businesses to be better rather than just the best. And last but not least, it will give purpose to those who are participating in this multi-trillion dollar (and growing) industry by having the ratings from their meals feed those in need.
ABOUT THE FOUNDER
Table Sage was founded by Serena Weaver after a decade of work in sustainable business development and twice that amount of time centered on traveling to experience the magic of great eateries. Her international upbringing informs her passion for thinking big, outside of the box, and connecting the dots. She holds an MBA from SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan, Italy and a Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, USA.