So one question that I get from time to time is why do I write a food blog? And people have all sorts of ideas as to what the motivation is to put so much time and effort into this hobby. For me, it’s mostly about supporting and promoting restaurants that are doing great things for dining and of course, doing great things with food. So that’s my selfish motivation, mea culpa. But I’ve also been asked about freebies and how that might play into my reviews and posts. The reality is that there are a ton of food blogs and influencers out there and they probably all have different policies about handling food freebies, PR requests and for paid reviews/posts. In the interest of full transparency, here’s how I deal with requests.
On my side, I typically get 10+ media requests a month and it ranges from: please come in and check out our restaurant-business-event to judging food events and having dinner with the media-PR person. I’ve gotten offers from chains like Bahama Breeze and PDQ to high-end, exclusive restaurants like Washington Duke Inn to Il Palio. And I’ll be honest with you, I’m pretty much tempted to try them all because this boy is always hungry! And who can say no to free food?
But I don’t feel comfortable with quid pro quo offers for a review/post in return for a free meal. Because I know that if I had a poor opinion of a restaurant, I would have a tough situation about being forthcoming and honest about the place. So I have taken comped and sponsored offers but only if it’s NOT tied to a review/post. And there are no posts that have been paid for (monetary compensation) on my blog. Nor do I run a PR company, offer marketing services or have business relationships with the restaurants I review. I value my independent opinion and your need to find unbiased dining information. When I do get comp’ed for a meal/event, they’ll now show up as Media events on my blog. Full details for PR professionals and requests are here.
The overall reason for this discussion is that people and readers just don’t really trust a lot of food bloggers or influencers. And I don’t entirely blame people for having doubts so in the interest of transparency, I just wanted to lay out my guidelines for food freebies and such. When I accept comp’ed events it has to be aligned to my interests and my goals for NC Triangle Dining. I’m always appreciative of any offers but thankfully I don’t write and review for a living, it’s just a hobby I have fun with!