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annoying food bloggers

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  • yuyu Apr 6, 2011 01:09 AM

as much as I LOVE following my local food blogs...recently I've found myself increasingly annoyed. Having worked in hospitality for about ten years..I am constantly appalled at how quickly food bloggers make assessments without any real knowledge about food..itself! The most irksome thing is when they complain about the service, or how something is not done to their liking but really..how is anyone supposed to rectify the situation if the service staff is never made aware?? Furthermore..if I read ONE more blog about some blogger who makes a huge fuss and leaves a LESS than acceptable tip (we're talking 10%ish) I WILL SCREAM. Thoughts?

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  1. Absolutely. Creating a scene is just obnoxious. There are plenty of respectful ways to give feedback without making someone else's life harder than it has to be.

    1. I had a food blog for 2 years or so, and was increasingly loathe to "review" a restaurant. In fact, I don't think I every really did, I just reported on the restaurant itself; atmosphere, what I ate, maybe some pics.
      But, if I had less than a good experience, I never wrote about it. Why? I'm not a food critic, who, if they are going to give a place a less than attractive review, have gone several times. At least that's the standard. My budget does not allow me to go 3+ visits (in a relatively short period of time which would reflect a restaurant in situ), so how can I report anything bad?
      It's just not fair or even reporting to put something in print/web, with an n=1, especially if you have not tried to gain some sort of satisfaction by reporting your disappointment so that the place has a chance to rectify the situation and please you.
      Unfortunately, in the internet age, satisfaction comes in the form of the instant gratification of pounding away on a keyboard.

      3 Replies
      1. re: monavano

        +1, excellent points discussed

        1. re: monavano

          I do not write about places that I find have no redeeming quality. If I order something that isn't to my liking I either won't mention it or just mention that I didn't care for the other items. What I like not all others do and what I don't some may.

          DT
          www.davwudsfoodcourt.blogspot.com

          1. re: monavano

            Monavano and Davwud, that's exactly how I feel. I go to places that I plan to enjoy, and post about my experience if its an enjoyable one.

            If it's bad - I may offer private feedback, but there are too many variables that can cause something to be "off", and I have too much respect for the amount of work that goes into a restaurant to be overly-negative.

            ...unless they really deserve it :p

          2. Those aren't blogs, they're vengeance logs.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Isolda

              I ask because recently, I had something blogged about me! Somewhere along the lines of the service wasn't great because the server recommended a sake...and brought us a more expensive sake than the one we liked...
              my question is a) why didn't you tell me which sake you like?
              b) why didn't you tell me this was NOT the one you liked?
              c) why did you drink it all...

              these are all valid questions don't you think? the passive aggressive-ness of her response was rather irksome.

              1. re: yuyu

                Did you respond directly to her on her blog?

                1. re: chezwhitey

                  ...because not doing so directly to the food blogger you are irked at can be just as passive agressive by taking it to CH instead.

                  Bloggers forget and so do readers that blogging is a personal past time and for the most part meant for getting a journal of thoughts down on virtual paper. Since it's not against the law to write about your experiences, as you perceive them, there isn't much to stop a blogger from blogging. The best way to deal with a blogger you don't agree with or don't enjoy is not to visit their blog.

                  And, it requires a bit of researching to find that your name, your business is appearing on someone's blog. It's a free-speech argument for many and you can ask to have your name removed but unless their is some legal recourse for insisting, you may not have your inquiry responded to.

                  Way too many annoying food bloggers have become infamous thanks to readers who get a kick out of other people's nonsense. How in the world are you going to stop it.....

                  I'm sorry this happened to you, but it happens.

                  1. re: chezwhitey

                    I couldn't actually. I found her comment on another bloggers site with no link. I guess, although most of the public doesn't view it as such, considered legitimate journalism...but the internet definitely allows more room to be anonymous. My only real irk about this particular posting is the fact that the problems with her experience could have so easily been rectified. I suppose that is a bit of professional naivety on my part...wanting every guest who walks through the door to have an enjoyable experience.

              2. Can you point to more than 1 blog post where a huge fuss was made and they left a 10% tip?

                By "making a big fuss" do you mean letting staff know things aren't to their liking?

                1 Reply
                1. re: tommy

                  No not at all..there is nothing WORSE than keeping silent when something is wrong. We are in the business to please..that's what we do..how can we do that if you tell us everything is ok when it's not?? if you don't speak out if something is seriously wrong with your food, or even if it's not what you expected...I think it is unfair that you rate anything as poor...especially the service...servers..like men...are by no means mind readers. (Mind you..if you order sth completely against a server's recommendation or a filet steak extra well done and complain that it's tough..wellll....restaurants don't work miracles either....) all these blogs I'm referring to are local..(i.e. vancouver british columbia) and most are done by younger, inexperienced bloggers which, I give much thought to reading anyways...however..I have heard through the grapevine that certain very popular food blogs in this city tip somewhere in the 10-12% range consistently...and I'm fairly certain they get taken care of.....
                  so...

                2. I eat out to enjoy time with the company, the food, and (maybe) the atmosphere. I agree with the comment that too many people that talk about food, really don't know food. Often, instead of saying what was good and why it was good, they'll talk about things that are completely irrelevant, mostly things to show off how much food "knowledge" they have.

                  With service, I'll be very clear - I don't give a damn about the server's livelihood. I don't care if everyone in your life that you looked up to passed away and you're in a situation where you have to work multiple jobs in order to take care of your younger siblings/relatives. Because, like I said, I eat out to have a good time, not to be a saint.

                  For the time that I'm in an establishment (From Taco Bell to a triple digit place), I'll be respectful towards the staff. I'll speak softly, smile and be sure to thank you. If I enjoyed my time and feel that the staff contributed, I'll happily leave a tip. But, if that was not the case... Tip? I don't think so.

                  I can think of two recent examples. Both were low-level places (Full service, dishes around $10 with the high being around $30). I actually picked out both places for certain unique charms. The first place got three strikes. One: There was a special not on the board and while the party newly seated next to me was told of this, I was not. Two: Another party near me asked for their check and got it... And it was picked up 30 minutes later. Three: I went to the restroom. After I exited, a group of servers were chatting away and BLOCKING me. I politely said, "excuse me." No response. I actually had to gently tap one on the shoulders. Second place had both counter and full service. I sat. I was ignored. I went to the counter and ordered. I chatted with one of the staff members. I went to the counter again and ordered. Still ignored. I ordered through one of the staff members (non-server) I was chatting with. The whole time I was ignored by the server.

                  You are not entitled to a tip. However, I, as the customer, am entitled to not only service, but good service. If you would like a big tip, please pamper me (Well, okay, not that far, but at least treat me with respect). If not, don't expect anything, because you didn't earn anything. That's my way of telling you that I was not happy with the service.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ediblover

                    First of all, I'm good at my job. I know that, people who aren't do not sustain themselves in this industry because really, the eight dollars an hour isn't going to justify me ignoring the other career options I have which come with my degree. That being said, I'm fairly certain if a server knows they are serving a table of food bloggers they will bend over backwards because let's face it, no one likes to be made an a** on the WWW.

                  2. Thought I would resurrect this thread rather than starting a new one. The comment made about vengeance blogs is spot on.

                    I have no objection to food blogs providing they are well written and not too critical. Everyone has off days and to slate someone on the www because your experience was not 100% is caustic.

                    Most food bloggers are hobbyists whereas the restaurant owners are trying to make a living.

                    I am sure that some bloggers will give a bad review to give more press.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: PhilipS

                      I'm not sure I follow all of your points, but the same likely applies to tripadvisor posters and chow posters. I'm failing to see a big difference here.

                      1. re: PhilipS

                        I just read a Yelp review tonight of a place not even open 3 months yet. First experience they raved, 2nd experienced they had complaints about the portion size. Inside of 30 days the place closed and this very same Yelper took the time to gloat that they predicted the fate of this new biz. Then linked their blog to the post. That annoyed me and I don't have any connection to the restaurant. But gloat over a new restaurants demise-well that's just a person being an a-hole, gives food bloggers a bad name.

                      2. 10 % is a mortal sin level of tipping?
                        Those are CUSTOMERS talking.
                        10 % is better than 0 % when poor service closes a place.

                        1. I just read through this thread again. I am incredulous about the complaints from service industry folk. It is like you saw the soup Nazi being celebrated and tolerated and you think that is how it should be.
                          Who says bloggers should only point out the positive? The negative is at least as helpful as the positive.
                          Maybe it is the celebrity of TV chefs that has produced such an attitude of entitlement and disdain for the customer.
                          If you do not want bloggers describing how they got crappy service or food, quit treating people that way and serving poor food.

                          1. What I ask is that the blogger or reviewer give their opinions clearly and coherently, give reasons and examples for their opinion, and ideally understand the difference between not liking something and something being inherently bad.

                            I definitely *don't* expect a blogger to only review places they like. I also don't expect them to go to a restaurant numerous times to get an overview of the service and quality, unless they are being paid to review, and have their expenses covered.

                            I certainly don't think they should be making a scene at a restaurant - yelling, cursing, insulting the staff, going on a tirade about how they are a food blogger, turning over tables, or anything like that. But I think that leaving quietly and giving a 10% tip is totally acceptable behaviour if someone is unhappy with the service.

                            A customer can give feedback if they want, but I don't think they are obliged to do so if they don't want to. How a restaurant responds to customer complaints is important, but it doesn't negate the fact that the food was badly cooked, or the order wrong, or the wait inexcusably long. If I've just had a horrible meal experience, I dont' necessarily want to top it off by trying to tutor the restaurant in acceptable standards of service and quality.

                            If only good reviews are posted, and the negative ones left unwritten, then silence on a restaurant either means no-one knows about it, or it's really bad. I'd rather get a range of reviews when deciding where to go.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                              Why do you need a random persons opinion to decide where to go? It's dinner, not heart surgery. If it doesn't make a magical evening so be it. I live on an incredibly tight budget, if I end up at a restaurant that doesnt suit my lifestyle, I don't go back. I don't ask a stranger what they think, nor would I expect a stranger to give a care as to what my opinion was.

                              1. re: plaidbowtie

                                Do you post about restaurants on chow.com?

                                1. re: plaidbowtie

                                  I get that going to a restaurant should be kept in perspective. But, for some, it is a passion on which they decide to spend a considerable amount of discretionary income, and they hopefully have trusted forums from which they can glean and give guidance.
                                  Virtual cohorts on forums, if the forum is guided with a deft hand, can be fonts of collective knowledge and experience.

                              2. I agree with you totally, and I'm one of those bloggers! I don't consider myself to be a qualified food critic and don't feel it's proper for me to write something that can have an effect on someones livelyhood. I just choose not to write negative reviews.

                                If I have a bad experience, I handle it myself with the manager or just don't go back, but I don't write about it.

                                http://burghfeeding.blogspot.com/

                                1. I completely disagree with the attitude of several posters here. What pretentious crap that there is a certain class of people who are "enlightened" enough to have an opinion about what they eat, and everyone else should just shut up and be grateful to be fed. This attitude is why so many people hate foodies. Restaurant food and service is meant to be enjoyed by the average diner, not just your fellow servers or other chefs, or some "expert" or someone who "knows about food." If your food, or you service, has failed to satisfy the average diner, you have failed, period. It doesn't matter if they were there on your "off" night, or didn't come back three times like a critic would. They are under no obligation to give you a second or third chance.

                                  The customers who come to your restaurant have a right to an opinion about your food and service by virtue of having paid for the food.They have a right to share that opinion with others. They have been sharing their opinions for as long as there have been restaurants, it's called "word of mouth". Restaurants have always lived or died by word of mouth, which is regular people who have eaten at a certain restaurant telling people whether they liked the restaurant or whether they didn't like it. People blogging about their restaurant experiences is simply a continuation of that tradition. The only difference is, instead of this word of mouth being spread verbally at gyms and cocktail parties and at the golf course where you would have never heard that Joe Diner thought the service was slow or the food was uninspired, now you have the opportunity to stumble across it on the internet.

                                  The food-related blogs that I find most annoying are those written by servers who have convinced themselves that their job is some high calling, and so now 20% should be by law the minimum tip for adequate service. As they insist their job is so important they deserve more money, they bitch about customers who ask for changes to a dish, or expect servers to be honest in their suggestions about which dishes are better done, and which are not the chef's strength. And then there are the snarky comments about their customers not "knowing about food" just because the customers haven't fetishized food the way servers and pretentious foodies have.

                                  1. While watching "Eat Street" (the food-truck show) and noting the captions, GF wondered aloud: "Is there anyone on this planet who is _not_ a food blogger?"

                                    1. Personally, I don't really have much respect for or interest in "food bloggers" unless they have worked in restaurants themselves and cook regularly too. Some culinary training would be preferred. Otherwise, they're not really culinary experts, they're just consumers.