Heather Sliwinski

All About the Nima Score: Your Gluten-Free Restaurant Rating

Nima score restaurant profileWhat is the Nima score?

The Nima score identifies the friendliest restaurants for those who avoid gluten in the Nima app, backed by Nima test results and community reviews. The Nima score rates restaurants and dining establishments on a scale of 1 – 5 and can be seen in profiles of restaurants in the app that have any recent, synced tests.

What determines the Nima score?

The score is based on the availability of gluten-free foods, accommodation of the restaurant as well as the average test results from other Nima community members. Here are some details of the main components.

  • Nima score low glutenTest results – This percentage is based on actual results of food tests conducted with Nima, once Nima community members sync their device following a test. The three possible results that are included in the score are gluten-free, low gluten, or high gluten.
  • Specified gluten-free – When community members provide information about their test results, they can indicate if the food was specifically ordered or labeled as gluten-free. If an item is specified as gluten-free and it comes up as containing gluten, the score for this restaurant will be lower than a gluten-free dish that comes up with no gluten detected. Also, a dish that was not specified as gluten-free will not be penalized when Nima finds gluten.
  • Accommodation – After syncing a test, community members have the opportunity to rate the level of accommodation the restaurant provided. This feature reflected the desires of many community members to share feedback on the quality and awareness of service on the part of a restaurant and staff. The more accommodating a restaurant, the higher their Nima score is. Accommodation is rated on a scale of 1 – 3, where 3 equals “The staff had a complete understanding of my needs and was highly accommodating.”
  • Nima score reviewAvailability – Community members also provide feedback on the number of gluten-free options a restaurant has. The more gluten-free options, the higher the Nima score. Availability is rated on a score of 1 – 3, where 3 equals “Many of the menu items are GF or can be made GF.”
  • Recency of test – Restaurants change day-by-day or minute-by-minute. Menus may change seasonally, and staff have high turnover. Therefore, the Nima score weighs newer reviews more than outdated reviews.

In order for a restaurant to get a perfect 5 score for an individual test, they would need to achieve the following:

  • Food that tests gluten-free
  • A score of 3/3 for accommodation
  • A score of 3/3 for availability

By contrast, for a restaurant to receive a 1 on an individual test, they would have the following report:

  • Food that tests high gluten
  • A score of 1/3 for accommodation
  • A score of 1/3 for availability

Additional things to note about the Nima score:

  • The more tests are completed, the more representative the score is.
  • Reviews are self-reported by the community and therefore it is recommended that you always eat at your own discretion as well as run a new test to validate that your specific food is safe for you to eat. As mentioned above, a score represents a snapshot of any given restaurant as reported by the community. Changes may occur in menu items, ingredients, or preparation processes. Staff may change and be more or less informed about accommodating various dietary needs. You should always follow what is best for you with regards to reading menus carefully, asking questions, and doing your own research (including running tests) prior to consuming any food. The Nima score cannot guarantee dishes will always test the same way.
  • As test results are linked to specific dishes and restaurants directly by our community members, we cannot validate that the test score is associated with the correct dish, restaurant, or packaged food.
  • Results can vary from branch to branch of different restaurants, which is why a Nima score is always specific to that location and not just a business name.

What else would you want to see included in the Nima score?

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