Why You Shouldn't Trust Yelp
Posted 24 August 2011 - 07:51 AM
It is the bloggers--or a certain type of blogger, that I have a beef with, and I have found a way to deal with them, uh..."diplomatically". Anyone who wants to come in and eat at my place and tell anyone about it, is a "customer", those who don't want to pay for it are not.
Posted 24 August 2011 - 09:21 AM
This cuts both ways, because restaurants often also want to be written about in web logs. Restaurants frequently contact my wife, who writes a food web log, to review their restaurants with a comped meal. She has accepted in some cases (though of course indicating that the meal was comped in her review), but it can create some awkward situations, especially when the restaurant's owner or a PR person stays with you the whole meal talking your ear off. For the most part, she'd rather pay for her meals, and not have to deal with that kind of thing.
-I study their blogs. Not once have I seen a caveat or word about "sponsored" blogs, the impression is that all these blogs are written without any compensation. So I write back to the blogger and say I would be delighted to have them in my place. However, as I am compensating a free meal, I must insist on having a caveat in their blog/rating that this blog was partialy sponsored by "X", the name of my establishment. No one has taken me up on this offer.............
I don't have a lot of respect for food writers (in whatever kind of media) who accept comped meals from a restaurant but don't indicate it. However, this kind of situation happens for some of the lower budget traditional media as well, when the paper can't, or won't, pay for the meals -- its reviewers are forced to hustle to get comped meals, and of course any semblance of anonymity is gone.
Edited by Will, 24 August 2011 - 09:23 AM.
Posted 24 August 2011 - 11:09 AM
Posted 24 August 2011 - 11:48 AM
I don't have a lot of respect for food writers (in whatever kind of media) who accept comped meals from a restaurant but don't indicate it. However, this kind of situation happens for some of the lower budget traditional media as well, when the paper can't, or won't, pay for the meals -- its reviewers are forced to hustle to get comped meals...
I wouldn't respect it either -- though am very hard-pressed to conjure real examples, within my own adult experience (four food-conscious US metropolitan areas since the 1970s all with local print media both "high" and "low"). Someone else might have significant examples, but in my world the meal-cadging media restaurant critic has been basically a theoretical concept, even though one often mentioned. I believe there are causative reasons for that.
Even the smaller, local, tabloid papers, as here in the SF Bay Area, sometimes harbor excellent critics, "excellent" meaning widely respected, with histories of useful writing. For restaurants, critics of that caliber are the only ones read and quoted consistently in my experience. I know how they work, because I've known some (and been approached a couple of times by editors offering such work). The economics don't favor shaking down restaurants if the critic is any good at all:
Critics, of course, are part of the bait attracting a newspaper business's main product (you) to its customer (advertisers). Restaurant critiques, you'll notice, often highlight a paper's "weekend" or restaurant-advertising section. A paper that can't recover, through added advertising, far beyond the (say) $100 average per-issue expense of a critic's restaurant bill does not have a respected critic, and a critic who plays comping games will never become or stay respected. (Restaurant people have even been known to gossip!)
Posted 24 August 2011 - 12:31 PM
These are newspaper critics, I'm talking about bloggers. Here in the Vancouver area there are over 100 food blogs in English, and I don't know how many in other ethnic languages.
Posted 24 August 2011 - 01:00 PM
Yeah-but Max, / These are newspaper critics, I'm talking about bloggers.
My last comments were meant, and are relevant, only for the particular context that I wrote to, explicitly ("traditional media as well, when the paper can't, or won't, pay for the meals").
Posted 29 August 2011 - 01:43 AM