Sometimes I’m embarrassed to tell people I am a food blogger.
Weird, right? I mean, clearly there’s no inherent shame in it. I love to write, I love social media, and I absolutely love cooking, developing recipes, and going out to eat. It’s natural that these interests would drive me to share my culinary experiences on the Internet. I’ve been lucky to be incorporated into Endless Simmer—the writers here are personable, hilarious, and truthful (to the point of offending people with our various opinionated stances and language, which I think is funny). What we are not is unethical, entitled or pretentious. I will just as happily proclaim my love for Taco Bell as I will for rare farmers market produce. We’re not too cool for anything here and we love to make fun of ourselves.
If I receive a product to review, I mention in my post that I received it to review. If I go to a new restaurant I plan on writing about, I do NOT heavy-handedly announce to my server that “I’M A FOOD BLOGGER” and make a big deal of setting up my laptop and camera while whining about wanting perfect service and free dessert and better lighting so I can take a million artsy photos of my glass of wine. I pay for everything and I don’t try to namedrop my blog to every staff member within earshot. Let’s keep it real: writing about novelty hot dogs on the internet should not be cause for restaurants to grovel at my feet.
Not everyone shares my sentiment, though. While there are plenty of wonderful food writers and reviewers on the internet, as you know there’s also a disturbing amount of self-important buffoons. These days, every hack with a free Yelp account thinks they’re the next Ruth Reichl, when in truth they are anything but. Which is why I hate, hate, HATE the idea of this ridiculous ReviewerCard.
Here’s the backstory behind the creator of this completely superfluous new “membership card and community”:
Brad ordered the “Rapido Breakfast”, which usually comes with a croissant, orange juice and black tea. Brad kindly requested green tea instead of black, although the waiter refused to accommodate him. After numerous requests, the waiter finally brought green tea and then proceeded to drop a bill with a significant fee for the tea switch. Once Brad commented on how appalled he was at the service and that he would promptly write a review as soon as he returned to his hotel room, the manager and waiter came over and offered their sincerest apologies. They comped the breakfast and begged him to come back throughout his stay. Brad believes this was only the result of mentioning he was going to review their business online.
Oh poor Brad! What a sob story!
Sooooo… the idea is that you flash this card at your server in a restaurant in order, basically, to “warn” them that you will be reviewing the restaurant. Real food critics have classically tried to visit restaurants incognito in order to receive the same treatment as the average patron, but the ReviewerCard rejects that stance. The card is a veiled threat: treat me, spoil me, give me free stuff, suck up to me, give me special attention or I’ll pan your establishment. The site claims the ReviewerCard helps “protect small businesses” when it honestly does the opposite.
No thank you.