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How to write a reader review 

Pointers and guidelines on how to write the best review you can on The Coast's restaurant pages.

Reader review guidelines's restaurant and bar listings provide a wealth of useful information about everywhere to go out to eat and drink in greater Halifax. We know Coast readers love to go out, and since we love our readers, we consider their candid reviews and ratings an integral part of restaurant profiles on our site.

However, is a private website and we reserve the right to remove any comments we find offensive or slanderous. While we strive to maintain an atmosphere that encourages free and open conversation, inevitably some comment threads can spiral into negativity and personal attacks. When this happens, we may close the thread to further comments.

As much as we try to monitor all comments on the site, we rely on readers to inform us of any comments posted that they consider offensive or slanderous.

Under every comment on the site, we provide an option for you to report abusive comments. Simply click on "report comment," and choose the reason why you find the comment offensive in the pop up box.

Alternately, you can email If you email us, don't forget to include a link to the page the post is on.

If a commenter repeatedly abuses our comment policy, we may ban their IP/email address. If you have questions about this policy or about about a specific comment on the site, please email us at

Reviewers, please note: The Coast restaurant critic gives new establishments a three month grace period before reviewing it. In the same spirit, while we will allow reader reviews to go up immediately after a business opens, we will delete all comments (positive or negative) monthly for the first three months after a business opens. This ought to give any business a blank slate from any initial first bumps.

Tips for Reviewers

A restaurant or bar profile should provide information that is useful to all parties involved: the reader, the reviewer and the owner of the business. We provide some of that information: opening times, price ranges and so on; reader reviews fill in the colour.

Reviews should give a fair and honest portrait of a place and be addressed to the imaginary reader who has never been there. Hopefully, they're informed, descriptive, creative or funny. Remember, this is a person's livelihood you are commenting on, so think carefully about what you say. Constructive criticism is welcomed; responses to other reviews are, too; grudge matches are not.

Good Comments

Good comments articulate experiences, give examples or respond to a comment left by another reader.
Good comments never insult the people who work at, go to or own a food or drink establishment, other commenters, other websites, etc.

Good comments are descriptive, have a positive/constructive tone, and are open to being contradicted by other readers.

Good comments stay on topic, and never contain spam or spam-like content.

Good comments are rarely anonymous, because good commenters stand behind their opinions.

Bad Comments

Bad comments insult the writer of the post, other commenters, etc. Often, reviewers write a decent critical review, then sign off with a lame personal insult. Why bother? Personal, unprovable insults will always ensure a comment gets removed.

Bad comments contain threats, needless swearing or abusive content.

Bad comment make unprovable accusations about people or businesses.

Example: food poisoning. Legally proving that food from a single restaurant made you sick is very, very difficult. You have to produce the, um, smoking gun, so to speak. Posts making that accusation will be taken down.

Bad comments go off on tangents or go-off topic, and often contain spam or spam-like content.

Bad comments are almost always anonymous, and usually contain fake contact information, because negative commenters are almost always too cowardly to stand behind their opinions.

Bad commenters BATCH TRASH. They hop online and spend a half an hour ripping off a half dozen short, terse and negative restaurant reviews. Usually, these are thin reviews, lacking context, description or a story to illustrate whatever problems they hope to convey. Saying a place "sucks" is not enough. Please, be kind to a business and don't batch trash it.

Now you've read this, go to our restaurant and bar section and start reviewing!

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