One of Whistler's most popular and lauded eateries has caught the attention of Trip Advisor.
Out of 159 Whistler restaurants listed with Trip Advisor, users of the online rating service put the Rimrock Café as the resort's number one eatery. Along with that statistic, the online rating company recently named the Creekside restaurant a Travellers' Choice 2013 Winner.
Ten Canadian restaurants were awarded the honour and Rimrock took spot number five. Bob Dawson, co-owner of the Rimrock with Rolf Gunther, says he's honoured with the award.
"I thought it was great," says Dawson, a keen Trip Advisor user himself when he's travelling.
He says awards like the one from Trip Advisor are very meaningful because they are generated by people who actually visit the restaurant.
"It's always a double-edged sword with social media," Dawson says as he prepares for the diners expected that evening. "It's a very fine line. We don't always get good reviews, we do have some bad reviews, but we don't take them off."
The number of glowing reviews is far greater than the unhappy visitors to the Rimrock, though. Only two per cent of restaurants listed with Trip Advisor get Travellers' Choice awards, so the Rimrock is in good company with top Canadian restaurants like AG in Niagra Falls, Vancouver's L'Abbattoir and Le Saint-Amour in Quebec City. Those three restaurants placed fourth through second in Trip Advisor's ranking of Canada's favourite restaurants, as decided by users of Trip Advisor. The number one eatery in Canada, according to Trip Advisor, is Europea in Montreal.
Dawson says he's eaten at L'Abbattoir in Gastown a few times. One visit in particular he remembers was on a night he went to see the Vancouver Canucks play.
"I had a great meal... it's very similar to us," Dawson says. "It's more casual and a great staff."
Dawson figures one of the keys to the excellent response to his restaurant from Trip Advisor users is the consistency customers get when they visit the Rimrock. The sous chef has been working at the restaurant for more than 24 years and many other staff members have been working at the Rimrock for many years. He says the loyal staff does everything possible to treat everyone the same and ensure customers leave happy.
"Everybody takes pride in their work," says Dawson. "They like working here, they believe, and they feel, we are one of the best restaurants in Whistler."
The goal every night is to treat every guest equally, no matter who they are. Even on the nights when the Village is jammed with 40,000 people and the restaurant is serving 200 people in an evening.
"When you think about it, 200 people is nothing when there's 40,000 people," says Dawson.
What is Trip Advisor's 2013 Travellers' Choice top ranked restaurant in the world? It is Maison Lameloise in Chagny, France.