There are some things that bloggers do when they are invited to events or reviews that just rub me the wrong way and I can’t get past it; I know I’m not the only one either…
1. Ordering excessive amounts of food just to taste a bite of each dish
Most review invites include a plus one, this means that the PR company and restaurant have organised for you to enjoy a meal for two which often has no restrictions. So when people abuse that opportunity I see red; just because you are writing a review of the restaurant does not mean that you need to taste the entire menu – just think of the food waste. Between two people you cannot possibly finish 3 or 4 mains, plus the starters and dessert that have been ordered too; it’s greedy and taking advantage of the hospitality of the restaurant.
2. Spending the entire meal on their phones
I understand that as a food blogger your job is to take photos of your food, I do it to, but seriously, pictures can wait to be posted, messages can wait to be answered and Facebook can wait to be mindlessly browsed. Show the chef some some respect and actually enjoy your meal, take the time to savour it, experience what was intended and enjoy the company of those around you. There is no need to spend the meal with a fork in one hand and your phone in the other, it’s just rude.
3. Using intrusive and excessive flashes on their phones or cameras
Sometimes a restuarant is dark, I understand you need to use a flash to get the best shots but if you’re there at a busy time then have a little respect for your fellow dinners, keep the flash to a minimum and maybe limit the use of a big professional grade add on to your camera…personally I have a selfie light I use with my phone but I make sure I keep it low and away from others so as not to disturb them and turn it off the second I’m done. Not everyone in the restaurant is there working and they don’t need your lights and flashes ruining their experience.
4.Treating waitstaff as if they are beneath you
Just because you have been invited to dine at the restaurant does not make you royalty, it doesn’t make you special and it most certainly does not give you the right to treat the staff like dirt. There seems to be a trend with bloggers to demand things from staff, maybe it’s just how they are all the time but when someone is giving you something for free perhaps use a little decorum and throw in a few pleases and thank yous.
5. Being late to events
Traffic in Dubai is awful, we all know that, so of course a few late arrivals is to be expected but when it’s the same bloggers again and again turning up over an hour late to events it is just rude. The PR company spend weeks, sometimes months, organising these events, the agents have to stay there all evening making sure everything
6. People who don’t hold up their end of the bargain
As the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Just because someone has invited you somewhere does not mean you can just show up and not do anything with the experience. Sometimes an event may not need a write up but at least a few Instagram shots or a tweet or two to show people you had a good time.
7. Writing reviews straight from the press release
You’re a blogger, that gives you room to be creative and it normally also means you have a flare for writing…use it! Don’t just copy and paste the tid-bits from the PR companies, do your own research, find out interesting things about the restaurants, brands and outlets you’re covering off your own back. PR companies guide your focus with their releases but remember, that’s not always all your reader wants to know, give them something more that what they are going to read in a magazine or newspaper…you owe them that.
8. Having zero manners
By the time you are an adult there are a few things you should be able to do, one of them is sit at a table properly and eat politely. Far too many times I have noticed bloggers who just have no manners, when it comes to using cutlery properly, getting the waiters attention, leaving the table or – and probably worst of all – eating with their mouth open or talking with food in their mouths. I know every culture has a different set of rules and I am by no means perfect but I do try and keep these in mind when dining in different restaurants.
9. Writing puffy reviews
Just because bloggers are given free food, invites to reviews and events and samples to try does not mean that everything has to be perfect all the time. As a blogger you have a responsibility to the PR company or brand not to slate them but you also have a responsibility to your readers to be honest about what you experienced. There is no need to slate a company or outlet but not everything can always be perfect, sometimes the service is off, sometimes a dish isn’t great, you are allowed to say that and you owe it to the people who read your blog to be honest.