“There is no such thing as a free lunch”

Yes! Mamma’s been telling you that. And it applies in marketing too – both online and offline!

 

I came across an article/blog on “5 Ways Bloggers Changed Restaurant Reviewing”

It was published in late 2011 and I think the change has been more prominent and defined ever since.

 

A review or critic online could make or break a business. Examples from movies such are Chef, The Hundred-Foot Journey, etc.

 

Even in real life! Remember when Tim Ho Wan Melbourne CBD first opened?

The line was huge every day of the week. It could be seen as the crowd effect, OR the combined force of food bloggers.

 

And @DaisyNeverTooSweet (a worldwide popular dessert and sweet treats Instagram-er based in Melbourne) brought a sweet life to Calia @ Emporium from her Greet Tea Soufflé Instagram post.

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Exploring food culture, the cuisine of a country is a must when travelling. So where do you get the suggestions from?  It’s safe to assume it’s way past the time of a cut out from a newspaper or magazine? So it resorts to mostly online these days.

 

I sought food finds from users’ contributed sites like Tripadvisor, Foursquare and Lonely Planet (well not so much user-contributed but..)  for my Europe trip in 2016. Little that I know, all the places I went to followed the top list from the destination were filled with tourists just as lost as me and some top price menu. (Wouldn’t name shaming them here but message me if you want to know where to avoid)

 

Later on that year, I finally found the answer to why restaurant suggestions from my trip were so bad. I had a job at this new restaurant in trendy South Yarra.  On a 1 fine afternoon after the lunch rush, a lady came into the restaurant, introduced herself as an “Elite” or credible contributor from Yelp! or Zomato. She offered a deal where she’d review our restaurant in return she’d get 50cents per click or per visit.

 

And of course, we took the deal 😛 It was a win-win for both sides. But food for thought, where’s the subjectivity in user contributed contents and can you really trust it now?

(Great business mindset that finds business opportunity in anything everything though)

 

But those were European and Australian stories – the more developed and commercialised world. This time, earlier this year, I went to Kathmandu. Still had nowhere to turn to for food suggestions, so I ended up giving Trip Advisor another go. And it worked beautifully. All the restaurants I went to were top-notch good food. So I guess there is still hope!

 

So to conclude this post, it’s incredible how much food bloggers can influence firstly the business and the whole food and hospitality industry. I feel like public endorsements are huge in the world these days. And that’s what I want to talk about in my next post. Stay tuned and give me some inspirations from what you have seen and found so interesting about public endorsements and KOL 😉

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