The Industry’s Attitudes Towards Food Blogging:
I was recently lucky enough to attend a wonderful event run by Lindt chocolate in conjunction with the celebrity chef, Jun Tunaka. What struck me most, apart from the bizarre but strangely pleasurable combination of slight bitter dark chocolate and strong, mustardy wasabi, was the fact that most of the other attendees for the evening were food bloggers. Watching American television shows such as Eat Street, entertainingly brash and cheesy in their Stateside manner, its clear that bloggers, regularly interviewed on the show, are taken very seriously across the pond. But what about here? Certainly among each other, the opinions of bloggers is often paramount when choosing where to eat so it was refreshing to see that those in the industry are starting to take notice too. But do you guys feel that this is happening enough? Do restaurants read what you have to say, interact and act upon it? After all, surely the mantra ‘the customer is always right’ is restaurant 101.
Personally, I wonder if this is always the case. A friend of mine recently told me an amusing story, although one which also perhaps highlights that, often, those writing about food aren’t always treated with the respect that they deserve. Having been invited to enjoy lunch by a newly opened steakhouse, which shall remain nameless, his guest was unfortunate enough to chip her tooth on a piece of melba toast which accompanied her starter. Having rather ironically being told by the maitre d’ that they’d comp his meal – obviously lines of communication had been crossed somewhere – he then received an email the next day from the oblivious PR lady asking how he enjoyed his experience. When he explained what happened, she replied saying that she hoped it hadn’t detracted too much from the experience and they’d be happy to offer them a free cocktail as recompense if they’d like to return.
We all write about food because we are passionate about it and because we want to share our experiences with others. Yet, while a review from the likes of Jay Rayner or Giles Coren can make or break a restaurant, there is no reason why their opinions should necessarily be more (and indeed less) valid than ours. Is this a sentiment held by restaurants and other members of the food industry? Do they take bloggers as seriously as they should? What do you think?
About the Author
Willam Dobson is a writer and journalist, focusing on food, travel and the arts. He has written for a host of different publications across three continents including The Cape Times, Eat Me, Wealth, Finance ME and also runs Sugar Street Review, an online magazine dedicated to promoting the vibrant culture of the Middle East to an anglophone audience.
|VIEW THIS YEAR'S PROGRAMME||REGISTER NOW|
|VENUE, TRAVEL, LODGING||SPEAKERS LIST|