Not so good restaurant reviews – to post or not to post

by April@MyFoodTrail on September 17, 2009

in Miscellaneous

I had a self debate over whether my blog should only contain restaurant reviews (or for that matter, recipes) that I would recommend and return to. Do food blog readers really want to read when a restaurant isn’t very good? Is it worth their time? I would be interested in what you think!

I have read other food blogs that will only post reviews of places that they would recommend. They say then you can refer to their blog for a list of places to eat. I contemplated whether I should do that too, but then I realised it probably wouldn’t be true to what “My Food Trail” is about.

“My Food Trail” is really my journey in trying out new recipes and developing my cooking skills as well sharing my eating out experiences – whether they be good or bad. Even though I might not like the food at a particular restaurant, it doesn’t mean that you won’t. In the same way, just because I rave about a restaurant, it doesn’t mean you’ll love it!

I guess while I am reviewing restaurants and making a determination of whether or not I would return, for you the reader, think of it as a photographic food journey I am taking you on, rather than a definitive guide of where or where not to eat. It is just my suggestion.

Over & Out, Rilsta xx

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Mr. Taste September 18, 2009 at 2:50 pm

I think the most fun is in writing about something you really enjoyed.

I find it hard (and pretty boring) to write anything about somewhere that didn't have anything memorable.

If someone has made the effort to writeup a nice post on a place, I think I would be more inclined to give it a try over a place that nobody's blogged about

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Betty @ The Hungry Girl September 18, 2009 at 3:59 pm

I will write up a post whether it's good or bad, because my blog is basically a diary of my experiences, like yours. And you're right, it's just your suggestion, so it's up to the readers to form their own opinion.

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Agnes September 18, 2009 at 4:21 pm

If I really, really don't like a place then I don't write about it. If I don't have anything nice to say, I don't say anything, but I do occasionally write about places that are "just okay". Only occasionally though because I have a large backlog and it's hard enough to motivate myself to write about the good ones!

But that doesn't mean that I don't think other bloggers should write negative reviews – I think those kinds of posts are actually harder to write, and I applaud people who do (if they are constructive and not straight out slagging a restaurant off). 🙂

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Simon Leong September 18, 2009 at 5:34 pm

i've also had the same dilemma. originally i started my blog to only add things which were my favourite items. but after a while it can be quite limiting. so i started adding most of the places i visit. i think readers would be curious to know your experience whether it's good or bad. sometimes it's good to know if a place isn't too good for something. i'd rather know and save the money not going than going and not being happy with the experience. i tend to focus my writing on things i have enjoyed in a place rather then dwell on the negative as well. hope this helps. 🙂

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Belle@OohLook September 18, 2009 at 5:53 pm

I appreciate an honest review, so yes, I think you should mention places that were not up to scratch. But give them the benefit of the doubt and the chance to improve.
If a place was so bad that you could not bear it, then don't mention them at all – don't waste your time unless you think they deserve a serve for bad service or whatever.
I really like your reviews, as they're not stuck up or too 'precious', if you know what I mean. Keep up the good work!

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Esz September 19, 2009 at 7:34 am

I think yes its good to read a bad review every now and then. If you write it in a critical manner and not a slanderous one (which of course you would) then its important to know what your experience was. And any intelligent person will know that sometimes restaurants can have their off days.

That said – there's not many places where you can find impartial bad reviews. And if the restaurant does happen to read your blog then they have an opportunity to correct their mistakes.

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theinformalfoodie September 19, 2009 at 4:47 pm

I like to read about good and bad reviews. I try to only go to restaurants that look like they will be OK, but sometimes I m disappointed, and I think others should find out why. Have a look at my blog.
http://www.theinformalfoodie.com.au

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penny aka jeroxie September 19, 2009 at 8:51 pm

The blog is about our food journey & experience so irregardless if it is good or bad, it is our perception.
I like reading your reviews as it is honest. So keep it up 🙂

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Conor @ HoldtheBeef September 20, 2009 at 12:20 pm

I find it really interesting to read bad reviews, particularly when you can tell the reviewer is trying to find some redeeming qualities.

I'm sure we've all had mediocre/bad experiences at restaurants that we've heard others rave about, so we tend to also read bad reviews with a little pinch of salt, knowing that this may not necessarily be a reflection of everyone's experience at a restaurant.

Personally I would like to read all your reviews – good, bad or ugly 🙂

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Rilsta September 20, 2009 at 9:45 pm

Hi Mr Taste: I do agree with you that it is sometimes boring to write about a restaurant with nothing memorable. A place where you enjoyed all the food is much more fun to write about.

Hi Betty: I guess if the purpose of your blog is to be a diary of your experiences, you should be featuring all the restaurants you eat at good or bad.

Hi Agnes: I know what you mean about having a backlog of posts and if there are too many places to write about, you would tend to only select the good ones.

Hi Simon: You are the eating out god! 🙂 I guess by including good and bad points, the reader can make up their own mind about whether they want to spend their money there.

Hi Belle: Aww thanks! I try to be honest and objective in my reviews because it is just my experience on one particular day which could have been the restaurant's off day.

Hi Esz: Yeah, I think it is all about writing it in an objective way and not slanderous as you said. Restaurants actually could learn a thing or two from reading blogs about their restaurant – after all we are their customers.

Hi Informal Foodie: I agree with you that people should know why you were disappointed in a place.

Hi Penny: Thanks! 🙂 Agree with you that it is all about perception and personal opinion.

Hi Conor: Thanks! 🙂 In my negative reviews, I try to be fair and also list things I liked about it. I think people would like to know why you didn't rate a place highly.

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Jetsetting Joyce October 5, 2009 at 2:01 pm

I think bad reviews are just as valuable as good reviews. Life's too short to be eating bad food, and if I can help someone else avoid a disappointing, horrible or sickening experience, then that's a job well done!

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Rilsta October 6, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Hi Jetsetting Joyce: Hear hear! Totally agree that life is too short to be eating bad food, but I guess we also have to keep in mind, what I consider bad, might be considered good to other and vice versa!

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