New study reveals the Swiss cities with the worst-rated restaurants

New study reveals the Swiss cities with the worst-rated restaurants

Selecting a potential restaurant, and then taking to the internet to read its crushing and glowing reviews before you commit, has become part and parcel of going out for dinner in recent years. Now, a new report by re:spondelligent has revealed the Swiss cities with the harshest diners, with one area in Canton Vaud placing top of the list.

Staff shortages in Switzerland annoy diners

The report found that Swiss food reviewers have become increasingly belligerent in the past year. While most praise their favourite restaurants, the number of one-star reviews in Switzerland nearly doubled to 6 percent of all responses in 2022 - according to a re:spondelligent analysis of 500.000 reviews made across Switzerland, Germany and Austria over the last year. 

In fact, the company found that the “rate of satisfied reviews” in Switzerland has fallen from 88,2 percent in 2021 to 83,7 percent in 2022 - the lowest value recorded for four years. As a result, they concluded that Switzerland is no longer the “champion of service”, with restaurants in Germany now scoring better than their alpine counterparts.

re:spondelligent blamed the more zealous reviews on people being intolerant of restaurants that face a shortage of workers. Some of the most common complaints found by the study include the restaurant not being value for money, invoice errors, long waiting times and complaints about the lack of vegetarian and vegan options.

Highest-rated restaurants in Switzerland are in St. Gallen

In the 2023 study, St. Gallen was found to have the highest-average-rated restaurants in Switzerland, with 87,3 percent of reviews being positive. Watson attributed the city's high score to restaurants' “food and ambience”.

In terms of service and value for money, the Swiss mountains were king with Chur, Canton Graubünden taking the top spot, while Lucerne was given the accolade of best "restaurant infrastructure" in the country. However, when it came to the bottom of the pile, one Swiss city on the banks of Lake Geneva stood out from the crowd.

Lausanne named as having worst average restaurant rating

This year, Lausanne was named as having the worst-reviewed restaurants in Switzerland. The city’s eateries were given a positive rating 80,2 percent of the time, coming rock bottom for both food and service.

Before you assume that re:spondelligent is just highlighting the reviews of needy tourists or wanton saboteurs from other cities, the firm found that the harshest reviews in Lausanne were actually written by people who live there. Lausanne replaced Lugano at the bottom of the ranking for the 2023 study.

Swiss cities ranked by quality of restaurants

In all, here are the 15 largest Swiss cities, ranked from worst average restaurant reviews to best:

  • 1. Lausanne (80,2)
  • 2. Lugano (81,9)
  • 3. Interlaken (82,2)
  • =4. Geneva (82,7)
  • =4. Bellinzona (82,7)
  • 6. Locarno (83,0)
  • =7. Basel (83,3)
  • =7. Lucerne (83,3)
  • 9. Bern (83,5)
  • 10. Biel / Bienne (84)
  • 11. Ascona (84,3)
  • 12. Chur (84,6)
  • 13. Zurich (85,9)
  • 14. Winterthur (87)
  • 15. St. Gallen (87,3)

For more information about the study, check out the official website.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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