New York Times Restaurant Critic Pete Wells Is a Softie, Statistically Speaking

Chefs and restaurateurs, rejoice: a rigorous statistical analysis of the three most recent New York Times restaurant critics suggests that current critic Pete Wells is ever-so-slightly more liberal with the stars than predecessors Sam Sifton and Frank Bruni.

Looking at the three critics’ first six months on the job side-by-side, The Daily Meal’s executive editor Arthur Bovino found that Mssrs. Wells, Sifton, and Bruni all reviewed the same number of restaurants. During those heady and caloric early days, Mr. Wells gave out three more stars than Mr. Bruni and fourteen more than Mr. Sifton.

“Sifton was twice as likely as Wells and five times as likely as Bruni to drop a big fat zero. Both Sifton and Bruni were almost twice as likely as Wells to give a restaurant one star,” Mr. Bovino wrote.

The Daily Meal, the two-year-old food site run by former CEO Jim Spanfeller, has also deemed Mr. Wells “the czar of the two-star review.”

All told, Mr. Wells averaged 1.8 stars per restaurant while Mr. Bruni averaged 1.7 stars and Mr. Sifton averaged 1.3 stars.

Maybe the restaurants are just getting better?

For more detailed analysis—including by borough, neighborhood, and cuisine—click through to The Daily Meal. <em>New York Times</em> Restaurant Critic Pete Wells Is a Softie, Statistically Speaking