Food plays an important role in all our lives. And for most people, their day revolves around their next meal and how and where they wish to have it. And the past few years have seen a significant rise in take out meals and fine dining. They certainly have an impact on our eating habits.
So, how do you pick a new restaurant, or how do you decide on where you want to have your next meal? Do you ever wonder how these restaurants gain popularity and market in this internet era? Food bloggers or the “influencers” as they are called play a prominent role. They can make or break any restaurant’s reputation.
Such is the power they wield. It is not only important to be fair, just, and most importantly, ethical. If you are a foodie, there are high chances that you pick a restaurant by its rating and review websites like Yelp. If you are a blogger, you might spend a lot of time on these websites writing reviews. But is it that easy to write a review and be done with it? There must have been times where you have faced various ethical dilemmas. If you have been in such situations, then here are a few tips that can help you in clearing the confusion and will help you to write about the food ethically.
Be Fair and Just
A food blogger must be able to give the reader a fair and just view of his food. Never eulogize or underplay your words. As a reviewer and a writer, you should be able to give the readers a feel of the restaurant, the food, the texture, the presentation, the aroma, and the portion size through your words.
This reflects a sense of realism and transports the reader to the table itself. If you could give your readers a small glimpse of the history behind the food or the restaurant, it would give your readers a gastronomic roller-coaster ride. But make sure you’re fair and honest in your reviews. Do not bad mouth or praise anyone because of your personal opinions. Your words are the window of the business and make sure it gives a neutral standpoint.
Focus on the People and Experience
Only a part of food writing is about the food itself. So, talk not just about the food but also the experience and the people behind it. It is the people behind the food that make it a fascinating dish, and the story that makes it all the more interesting.
The identity of the owner is also part of the food. It will make the review an interesting read and tell the tale of a possible dish running in a family for generations. Focusing on the origin of the dish will help the readers get a glimpse of its history, modifications, and legacy in making it palatable for the local population.
Local Commentary and Research
It is always better to seek inputs or clarification from the local community members. Check with the chef for the significance, the terminology, and the history of the food if you want to add some information that you think is not available on the internet. It brings a unique angle to your blog and also enhances your credibility.
It also shows that you have done your research to bring some new information about the dish. Seeking such inputs and feedback, especially when writing about ceremonial, traditional, or medicinal foods, is important. That’s because these dishes have deep cultural significance. When you do that, you would have ample information and also avoid hurting sentiments. If in doubt, you may also ask a food historian and get these details right.
Be Nice and Choose Your Words Carefully
Not everyone likes every dish. But that does not mean you should lash out on the restaurant or the chef. Instead, choose your words carefully and justify why you like or did not like the dish. Besides that, be careful with your adjectives in the sense that you should not call a dish exotic, cheap, inexpensive, or foreign unless it feels so. Remember, you might not just make or break a restaurant’s future. You will also influence the dining experience of thousands of people. The points mentioned above are few, which will help food bloggers earn a loyal fan following.
Writing about food is extremely difficult, as everyone has a different taste palette. However, if you write keeping these points in mind, you will build credibility and showcase the amount of research that has gone into the writing. More importantly, the intent is clear that you want to paint a fair picture of the dining experience is delivered!