Is it verboten to name names as in catering establishments? Some may consider it a form of free advertising, I suppose.
As long as we have no connection to the places we recommend, by either employment or a direct friendship with the owners/management of the place, then naming names is what this site is mostly all about.
Name names. It works booth ways, a bad review snt advertising any business owner would want, even for free.
Old adage: "There's no such thing as bad publicity so long as they spell your name correctly."
Servorg has summarized the rules as I understand them quite well. It gets a little bit iffy when you have been going to say a restaurant, or a cheese shop, or a _____ often enough to become friendly with the staff or owners. Most of all in situations like that be up front about things so that there is no hidden agenda.
My understanding about the issue of being a long time customer and becoming friendly with the staff is it becomes problematic if it crosses the line of you regularly getting free food or service on a constant or regular basis that others wouldn't be privy to or you start to socialize with someone(s) at the restaurant outside of patronizing their restaurant.
One of the reasons that I post using a handle that isn't my name is so I don't run into problems in this area. It's a slippery slope if folks recognize you when you go to dinner and begin to treat you differently, even if there is no direct agreement about you writing glowing things about their place of business.
I'm not sure whether, by naming names, you mean calling out specific members of the staff or if you mean posting recommendations for specific businesses.
In the latter case, it's pretty much our bread and butter. As others have noted, as long as you're not recommending a business you have a close connection to, it's fine.
In terms of naming names of specific staff members, it's fine to say something like "The bartender, Sara, was super friendly and gave all our guests great service!" but it's not necessarily a good idea to include full names or other details that people might be concerned about having published on the internet.
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