foodblogger asking for free food

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Re: foodblogger asking for free food

Postby foodlovee » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:39 am

I don't whether it ok or not to have free meals for reviews.But when pre arranged invitation reviews take place,can we expect to have the same quatity and attention be given to the dishes as that of a invited reviews.

What I wrote there was quite confusing for myself. :oops:
What I wanted to say was,does a paying customer get the same quatity and attention given to the dishes by the chef,as to the pre arranged invited reviewer's dishes. :roll:
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Re: foodblogger asking for free food

Postby Bugger » Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:09 am

pauline wrote:btw, is anyone interested in knowing if the food is good at all - has anyone been there?


Tried this place a couple of months back. Let's just say there are quite a few other places where I would rather go for the kind of cuisine they supposedly offer. More misses than hits for me here. Some of their dishes seemed bent on being intentionally fancy to the point that taste is compromised. But this is just my opinion.

Anyway, I think their strategy was to offer "fine dining" at more reasonable prices. Some might like that.

As for these food blogger meals, they shd just bloody pay for every meal that come their way. If it were me, I do not think I can eat a free meal and not feel obliged to reciprocate. Maybe that's why I am not a food blogger. :lol:
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Re: foodblogger asking for free food

Postby today » Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:24 am

On the contrary, I think restaurants and eateries also should never offer free meals to get reviews.
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Re: foodblogger asking for free food

Postby kiasu » Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:10 am

how about this way. blogger pays for the food and get paid for the review written, bad or good or blogger gets to eat free (his partner pays) but is compulsory to write a review - good or bad. of cos disclosure has to be made. if blogger don't want to write, then pay for the food.

Aug 26, 2010
Guidelines for food blogs?
Calls for code of conduct are made after furore over food blogger's expectation of free meal at restaurant
By rebecca lynne tan
The food-blogging community has thrown up suggestions for guidelines and etiquette rules after news broke that food blogger Bradley Lau had tried to finagle free meals for himself and three friends at the Private Affairs restaurant in Joo Chiat Place.

The 23-year-old undergraduate, whose blog address is ladyironchef.com, thinks there should be guidelines too.

In an e-mail to Life!, he says: 'The blogging industry does require certain guidelines to guide both bloggers and advertisers on standard frameworks to follow during such food-tasting sessions.

'This is to prevent similar incidents from happening. As influential blogs are being treated as media now, there are certain grey areas that need to be clarified.'

He and his friends had racked up a $395.46 brunch bill at the restaurant on Sunday and did not expect to pay for it.

He was outraged when he was presented with a bill for two - the restaurant absorbed the cost for himself and one dining companion. Displeased, he flicked his credit card onto the bill folder. He has since apologised on his blog for doing so.

He had assumed that since the restaurant had invited him for a meal some months before, his friends' meals would also be on the house.

The incident has thrown food bloggers into the limelight, with many upset by his actions. And like Mr Lau, other food bloggers think a code of conduct would be a good thing for the community.

Having some guidelines, bloggers say, would help to make the lines a little less grey when it comes to accepting complimentary food invitations and the obligation of having to write about it.

Mr Leroy Chan, 26, a biological sciences graduate who runs four-year-old food blog Thehungrycow.com, says: 'Blogging is a form of new media. The invitations only started coming about two years ago. I had no idea how the media industry worked and so new bloggers may also find themselves in unfamiliar situations and may not know how to respond to invitations.'

Dr Leslie Tay, of ieatishootipost.sg thinks it would be a good idea to come to a consensus with other food bloggers and list etiquette rules for new bloggers should they want some direction. He adds that he looks to traditional media for guidance and tries to apply the standards to bloggers, but with modifications because of the nature of social media.

But a question arises: Who will police the guidelines?

Mr Chan says: 'It is a tricky situation because no one authority has the ability to represent everyone. Blogs are personal and individualistic - it is hard to say who is right and who is wrong.'

He thinks that it really boils down to 'common sense and respect' and some self-regulation.

Mr Aun Koh, 37, publisher of The Miele Guide, who also runs public relations company Ate Consulting and writes the food blog Chubbyhubby.net, says ultimately, it is about people 'behaving with integrity'.

'It is not an issue of 'do we regulate them?'. The industry needs to start self-regulating - the industry itself needs to start practising ethics,' he says.

'That to me means across all media - whether you are a blogger, a magazine editor or a freelance travel writer. It is not an issue of someone else regulating, it's an issue of education and self-regulation. It is an issue of understanding the ethics behind how you are behaving.'

Publicists here say that they are upfront about coverage when they issue dining invitations.

Ms Marie Choo, 34, director of Alchemy Consultancy, which handles several food and beverage clients, says: 'When we do need confirmed coverage, we will be upfront with media guests when we invite them so that there is no misunderstanding.'

But they say they do not expect write-ups all the time.

Ms Veronica J. Zuzarte, 47, director of Sixth Sense Communications & PR Consultancy, a consultancy that focuses on the food and beverage industry, says: 'I do not speak for my clients or other public relations agencies, but I always advise my clients that there is no guarantee of a write-up.'

On what they hope for when inviting media and bloggers for tastings, she says: 'Hopefully, they taste it and find it interesting enough and want to write about it. But the objective of a PR agency, at the end of the day, is to get coverage.'

Of the restaurants that extend invitations to bloggers, they say they do it to reach out to diners.

The chief operating officer of Refinery Concepts, which owns Japanese eatery Kinki in Customs House and European restaurant Mimolette off Eng Neo Avenue, Mr Nasen Thiagarajan, 36, says: 'There is a very strong online community of foodies that we want to reach out to. The marketing world has changed, so the way we reach out to the market is also different.'

He says the group extends invitations but with 'no expectations' and it is the blogger's prerogative whether or not to share his experience.

But there are some members of the public who will never take bloggers seriously.

Bank associate Jeremy Foo, 30, says: 'There shouldn't even be food bloggers. Period. These unqualified people think they are former New York Times restaurant critic Frank B.


Temptations of a food writer
Tan Hsueh Yun, Deputy Life! Editor

A 23-YEAR-OLD who writes a blog called Ladyironchef has been giving those of us who run The Straits Times Life! section some food for thought lately.

News broke this week that undergraduate Bradley Lau and three friends had brunch at Private Affairs, a restaurant in Joo Chiat, racked up a bill of over $400 and would have walked out without paying had they not been stopped.

Words ensued, followed in quick succession by the flicking of a credit card on the bill folder, outrage on the Internet, intense flaming of the blogger, and newspaper reports on the case.

It all appeared to have been a misunderstanding. The restaurant had invited him to lunch; he took up the invitation three months later. He told the restaurant three others would join him but its public relations manager did not say the complimentary meals were for only two.

Because we are mainstream media and accountable to 1.4 million readers every day, it would be easy to take the high road and dismiss this incident as just something those pesky bloggers do in the wild, unregulated blogosphere.

But we began to wonder if we do enough to be transparent to our readers.

Earlier this year, we started saying at the bottom of restaurant reviews that the paper picks up the tab for the meals. For years we did not say that, assuming that readers knew.

But we decided to say so explicitly to make our stand clear. With the restaurant industry in superdrive in the last two years, we receive numerous invitations to food tastings at new restaurants.

The invites follow the same pattern: We would like to invite you to a free meal so you can review our restaurant.

But that is not how it works for this paper. Our restaurant reviewer, Wong Ah Yoke, makes a reservation under another name, turns up for a meal and pays for it out of a budget. He might visit the eatery a few more times before the review is published, and he does so on his own dime.

The restaurant learns it has been reviewed after the fact, when the newspaper calls to get photos of the food, or to arrange for a photographer to take pictures of the place and the food.

Sometimes, Wong is invited to meals but will go back to try the food again before the review comes out. He makes this clear in the review.

These rules help ensure our restaurant reviews carry weight with readers. The truth is, writing about food for The Straits Times and The Sunday Times opens all kinds of doors. Perhaps that is why so many freelancers want to write for us. We say 'no' to most, and work only with a small group with proven track records.

Interns and new reporters who write food stories are told what they cannot do. They cannot take friends to food tastings. They cannot demand freebies or have free food delivered to their homes - and they better not have a sense of entitlement. Naturally, these rules apply to seasoned food writers as well.

Still, temptations lurk everywhere. Some days, my table at the office is laden with goodies: chocolates, soya milk, nuts, health supplements, cakes, mooncakes, bottles of wine - all gifts from various eateries or food purveyors.

Then there are the invites to food tastings - via e-mail, snail mail and telephone. Come, they say, we would love to host you to lunch/tea/dinner.

To put it bluntly, as someone who oversees food coverage in the paper and who writes about food, I can probably get away with never ever paying for a meal. I resist, though when I tote up how much I spend on food and restaurants, I fear I will become destitute in my old age.

Some of my restaurant bills are paid for by the company, of course. I have a budget too, and stick to it. If I bust it, I pay out of my own pocket.

Often I pay for myself because it is in my interest to know what is happening in the industry. I consider this a price to pay to keep abreast of things in a job I love.

Food, cooking and restaurants are a 24/7 passion project for me - something I want to continue doing for a long time. I'm not in this job for the free meals.

In fact, I want to tell restaurants, forget the freebies. Just give me two things: exclusive stories and information when I ask for it.

So how do I deal with the temptations? I say 'no' a lot. I cannot give back the goodies people send to me but I can deal with them in a sane way.

Since the goodies have already been delivered - and a lot of them are perishable - I taste most of them. The stuff I really, really like, I write about. Other things are shared with colleagues. Some items are put up for sale in the newsroom to raise funds for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.

I say 'no' to nine out of 10 invitations. I do make some exceptions though. Sometimes, it is from the sheer embarrassment of having said 'no' so often. Other times, I may say 'yes' to invitations from a restaurant I have failed to get a reservation in. Sometimes, I say 'yes' to get to know someone new on the food scene. But there are so many shades of grey.
Some restaurants simply will not let you pay. I leave money on the table and make a mental note never to return. This, thankfully, has happened only once.

Other restaurants charge for what is ordered, but the chef might send over some complimentary extras or dessert. I leave a tip to show my appreciation.

It would be so much easier to just enjoy the perks of the job. But how would that make our food stories stand out from everybody else's?

I cannot conceive of writing Posh Nosh, my weekly food column in the supplement Urban, on the basis of freebies alone although it would be far less stressful. Why bother to scour supermarkets and food shops, and eat out to find new places and things to write about, when stuff literally falls into my lap?

But where's the fun in writing about things that the PR folks are spinning to me? The thrill is finding a fantastic restaurant that I need to tell everybody about. It is about a sense of discovery and sharing my love for food.

I would like to think that The Straits Times' 1.4 million readers are discerning folk who can spot fluff and appreciate passion. And to bring passion across, I need to connect with the food I am writing about - and I can't do that if I rely on freebies.

Otherwise, any greedy monkey with a laptop could do my job.
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Re: foodblogger asking for free food

Postby bobafett81 » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:21 pm

later channel newsasia tonight got interviews with the brad lau (lady ironchef).

plus a few other bloggers too.
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Re: foodblogger asking for free food

Postby asian-malaysian » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:48 pm

Wow, look who is actually getting free publicity out of the incident. :lol: :lol:
The chinaman is not the issue here, dude!
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Re: foodblogger asking for free food

Postby suede76 » Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:25 pm

So did anyone watch BlogTV last night? I tuned in to the second half and I think it's quite laughable how seriously some bloggers take themselves. Need the host ask the bloggers if they think readers should take each word they write seriously or with a pinch of salt? (Maybe it's a trick question? How about a bucket of salt?) And how some bloggers go on and on about integrity and being honest while admitting that they would be honest in a different way about the products they had been given than those they paid for... Meaning to say, if a product they had paid for was bad, it would be no holds barred thrashing; whereas if a sponsored product was bad, they would find something redeeming to say; and if there isn't, they wouldn't say anything at all.
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Re: foodblogger asking for free food

Postby pauline » Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:33 pm

sigh! missed the show yesterday.... wanted to but lost track of time and missed it... btw, who were the bloggers on the show.. hmmm, is it really so laughable? needed to find something to laugh for a long time... will see if i can catch it on their website.
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Re: foodblogger asking for free food

Postby kiasu » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:16 pm

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Re: foodblogger asking for free food

Postby Rahul_013 » Mon May 01, 2017 9:27 pm

This era is all about mobile applications so, it would not be a bad idea to build a mobile app being a food blogger.

Mobile App Development Company
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