I'm in the middle of a restaurant presentation spree (many more to come during the summer months) and I thought it was about time I let you know how I approach this... delicate issue. In other words, here's my policy for writing restaurant reviews / presentations in the AthensWalker blog:
How do I decide to write about a restaurant?
- First of all, I have to like it and to believe that it offers some value to foreign visitors. Writing negative presentations would certainly be much more fun... (I'm keeping notes on those too) but this would only end up being grey advertising and add useless clutter to the blog.
- All the restaurants mentioned here have been visited at least twice by me (with wife and friends, etc.) unless otherwise mentioned. The only exceptions being a handful of very expensive places I can't afford to visit often.
- I also ask the opinions of people I trust and whose tastes are similar to mine. I scour the web, Greek newspapers and travel guides for clues and ideas, but I never ever copy or plagiarize their material. That would just be sleazy and unethical!
- I prefer to focus on restaurants that have been around for quite some time. Not only are they tried and tested but they are also more likely to still be in business a few years down the road. On top of that, I time my different visits to the same restaurant so that there's a sufficient time span between them.
- I understand the need to focus on restaurants in or near city center but I also want to make you travel further out (in Athens or its suburbs) and try some places that are worth your time.
What about my relations with restaurants and food joints?
- First of all, they have to abide to the criteria above.
- All my reviews are first-hand and unbiased.
- So far, I've never asked for compensation for reviewing a restaurant. If I change my mind and policy I will make sure to clearly state it.
- I've never told anyone, even afterwards, that I will be writing about them, with a couple of exceptions that clearly state it. The main reason being I don't like being bugged when I'm eating! That is the reason you will rarely find pictures from inside a restaurant, or only basic ones (hastily taken with a cell-phone). I'm toying with the idea of changing policy, since some nice photos certainly add a lot to a blog post, but I don't want to compromise the blog's integrity. I might just try to be sneakier with the camera :)
If you have a blog / site doing restaurant reviews how do you approach the issue? If you're simply here looking for a nice restaurant in Athens, would you mind if I changed something in the policy above? Either way, I'd appreciate it if you let me know of your views and opinions.