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Welcome to DineOut!

DineOut is closing on the 1st of February?

We launched DineOut on 1st February 2000 and it was the first restaurant review website in New Zealand.

Over the last 16 years we grew, expanded, improved and became more and more popular. We saw other restaurant review websites come and go, and as the rise of social media started to take hold, we were fending off offers of takeovers and buyouts.

It is important to note that we never charged restaurants for their listings on DineOut, or to add photos and menus, and always gave them the opportunity to respond directly to their reviewers. Unlike other review websites, restaurants could not pay us to have bad reviews removed. In case you're wondering, yes, every other site does this. If restaurants pay for their listings, then they also pay for good reviews.

DineOut members are a community of people who enjoyed going to restaurants and cafés and sharing their experiences with others. Because of this community, DineOut was the only review site to have an open forum to discuss almost anything, preferably food related, but the variety of topics were often wild and diverse. Friendships were made in the forums, new dining partners were found, and plenty of laughs were had.

We had a number of trials and tribulations over the years. Plenty of reviewers who had axes to grind (and got blocked) and restaurants who hated any form of criticism. We received a lot of threats of legal action and resolved plenty of disputes along the way. We had a quick joint venture with some vultures who proved it was better to be independent and ethical than it was to be in anyone's pocket. And every day we read new reviews, about 80 thousand of them in total.

So why are we closing? Well, DineOut has never been run as anything more than a hobby. As such, the fact that it never made any money wasn't of any great concern. We never charged anyone for anything, so we were never going to be millionaires. But after the Christchurch quakes, our lives took a different path. Other things, like friends and family, were more important. We also saw lots of new competition enter NZ and do some very unethical, underhanded things. Truly nasty stuff. That's not a game we want to play or be associated with. So DineOut will stay online, but no longer accept any new registrations or reviews until the end of the year. Assuming there's been no dramatic change of plans at that point, we pull the plug and DineOut goes dark.

So, to the amazing chefs and hospitality workers out there, and the diverse range of reviewers who dine with them, I'd just like to say thank you for making our lives full and interesting over the last decade and a half. May you all go on to be successful and happy.

CJD & TMouse

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