Are We Being Taken Seriously Enough?

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

William Dobson
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.


6 Responses to Are We Being Taken Seriously Enough?

  1. Will Dobson (@WilliamTDobson) May 14, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    Are We Being Taken Seriously Enough? via @sharethis

  2. Bristol Bites (@BristolBites) May 14, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    The industry’s attitudes towards food blogging…

  3. Matthew Souza (@LIFESaDIVE) May 14, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    Are We Being Taken Seriously Enough?

  4. clare May 14, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    Interesting as I blogged about exactly the same thing last month on my own blog and via the foodies 100.

    The response I got was mainly that it is slightly “narcissistic” of food bloggers to expect their opinions to be worth something, and that as many restaurants don’t engage in social media, bloggers shouldn’t expect a response to a review or their opinions….. I think that feedback is feedback however it comes and that food bloggers are more discerning than the general public and are more likely to say what they think rather than the british consensus of no complaining. I was recently invited to review a restaurant, which fell hugely below expectation and this was fed back to the restaurant in a constructive way,. I think that food bloggers opinions could really help restaurant businesses succeed..

    • fbccurator May 14, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

      Hi Clare, thanks for your comments. Your article was really interesting. I do agree to an extent that it might be ‘narcissistic’ to expect restaurants to get in touch with each blogger individually and, of course, that’s not why people do it. Having said that, I’ve seen a lot examples on sites such as trip advisor of business owners responding to all comments, negative or positive. Whether food bloggers are more discerning or not than the general public is another debate entirely – I’m not sure that’s necessarily correct and I know a lot of people who are incredibly discerning when it comes to eating out but choose not to blog for whatever reason. Of course though, we now have a large group of food bloggers offering their opinions and I think my main point was whether the industry as a whole, rather than each individual restaurant, is starting to realise this. So not just when it comes to replying to posts etc. but when launching new locations, products, improving standards based on reviews etc. As you say, bloggers can be a great asset to the restaurant business…especially when the financial situation has made everyone more reticent and careful about spending their money.

  5. aveganobsession (@aveganobsession) May 15, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    Food Bloggers! Are We Being Taken Seriously Enough? via @sharethis

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