<<"I'm struggling with your "A recommendation always assumes that the recommender has a reason". I think I understand what you mean but It just doesn't scan.
Is it not possible that the motive of the recommender may simply be to impart information unto the recommendee; to provide choice amongst hitherto unrecognised options?">>
I clearly was not clear ....;-)..in my comment, although some of the issue may be subtle interpretation of the words.
Here are a couple of examples :
"I recommend Luzern!" "We usually recommend Luzern. You can miss Zürich."
" Give Geneva a miss."
"I would go straight to Lucerne upon arrival,"
We often say that, when a poster has not expressed clear preferences, or at the beginning of a thread. We do it because our reason is that Luzern is "all-purpose." Old town, lake and Mountains, famous historical sights.
Or, because Geneva doesn't have high alpine scenery.
But, if the poster really want to walk in the high Alps, we have missed our objective.
I am known to recommend Weinstube zun Bäumli in Sankt Gallen.
That is because I like the old Swiss ambiance, and the well done simple Swiss dishes. The Kalbsbratwurst are the best, the Rösti are just right, etc...
If the poster wants an elegant restaurant with a sophisticated wine list, I've missed the mark.
You can't recommend without believing that there is something worth doing or seeing, and if you don't know the interests of the poster, you are wasting the time of both of you.
If the phrase is put this way "If you want simple well done very Swiss food in a historic cozy restaurant, I recommend Weinstube zum Bäumli, ", then that makes clear my reason. If no reason is stated, there is still an implicit reason.
To deal with your question -
<<<"Is it not possible that the motive of the recommender may simply be to impart information unto the recommendee; to provide choice amongst hitherto unrecognised options?">>
That may indeed be a motive, but one can provide information without a recommendation.
"There is a historic small restaurant...well known to the locals. If that is what you like, I can recommend..xyz from personal experience.."
One definition of "Quality" is " To consistently exceed the customer's expectations."
Th emphasis is on the customers interests and needs.