Free Food and Reviews, Another Thought

ouchHere is another event that happens from time-to-time around these hallowed halls—a company will deliver cupcakes, food, or products and get a negative mention on SideDish. Then they get all pissy. The same thing has happened with media dinners. I remember sending a writer to a media dinner at We Oui, or however you spell it. Months later when I published a negative review, owner Phil Romano called me and screamed, “But you told me you loved the place when you were at the media dinner.” I wasn’t at the media dinner but because someone from D was there and was polite or actually did like the meal that evening, Mr. Romano thought he’d “bought” a good review. (Romano called my boss and tried to have me fired.)

The same goes for restaurants that call and request a restaurant review or “listing.” I ask them to send a copy of the menu and tell them they will be considered for a review but there are never any guarantees. If I do decide to write about it and the review isn’t glowing, I usually get a phone call, e-mail, or letter complaining that I was unfair. Okay, carry on, just a thought.