There are a few elements that should be present in any good
- Appraisal of food and service quality
- Examples of some of the dishes served
- Some sample prices
However, you can add to the entertainment value of your reviews
by adding a personal touch. While our official reviewers should
remain objective about the points mentioned above, there are
a number of places that being subjective helps to make a review
more entertaining. Tell a story, or include a little bit of
information about you. If you are not an official reviewer,
you have a much broader range to work with, as you are not
held to the same code of ethics or objectivity of our official
Consider the following example for a ficticious restaurant:
food tasted nice and looked good as well. The fish seemed
to be well cooked and was very enjoyable. Service was a
bit slow. I paid $30 for my main meal and this was reasonable."
Not too exciting is it? Now if we personalise the experience
a bit, and tell a story...
"There are some people that believe
that fish belong in the ocean, or the creek, or the lake.
I was one of them, but thank goodness the chef (Jack Costo)
at 'Eleven Oceans' is not.
The Catch-of-the-Day-I-Visited was swordfish,
which was presented on a bed of lightly fried sweet potato
with a lemon garnish cut and folded in a manner that I still
believe was created by M.C. Escher. As to whether such art
justifies the $30 price tag is debatable, but considering
the swordfish melted away in my mouth and made me relish
every bite made me forget such trivial matters.
staff, while very knowledgable and friendly, seemed to be
under a bit of pressure, with extended periods between courses
a little disconcerting. As someone who is not generally
a seafood fan, and who was forced to visit Eleven Oceans
on this night, I may just be coming back to visit for more.
Just don't tell my goldfish."
Okay, hardly a magnum opus I agree, but a little more revealing
about the reviewer's experience, even if the humour was a
bit fishy (ha!).
When I first started writing reviews, my ability to do so
was visibly below-average. As time has passed however, and
with more experience, I think that a bit of a signature style
is beginning to surface. Find your style, tell a story, and
include the elements at the top of the page, and you'll be
on your way to being a valuable reviewer and maybe even attract
A few things we look out for as official reviewers are a
bit more involved. As we get around, and begin to be recognised,
the service given to us becomes a little too good. We aren't
complaining by any means, but if we are getting better service
at the cost of other patrons, this is a problem. So when we
review service, we are not only looking at how we are treated,
but watching other patrons and picking up things from other
tables. I have heard of instances where a reviewer has visited
a well-frequented restaurant in a professional disguise to
test reports of poor service (when he had always received
good service). So restaurant managers take note, if your service
is not consistent across the board, it will be discovered.
There are a few more little tricks we use, but some of these,
you'll have to work out for yourself.
All in all, you should enjoy yourself. Eating is an essential
part of life, and if you happen to have someone get paid to
cook for you, then it should be enjoyable as well. Have fun,
be yourself, and tell the rest of us what you thought.
The point of FoodGod is to allow our registered members to publish an opinion on their experiences when dining out. Sometimes, those experiences are not positive, and it is only natural to want to vent your frustrations and tell as many people as possible of your bad experience. They say that you'll tell 5 people about a good experience, but 50 about a bad one.
Any sort of review can make a difference to a venue, and a negative review has the potential to affect a venue financially or a venue's proprietors emotionally. In order to keep this service running and to protect both ourselves and you, please keep the following in mind when writing a negative review.
- State the facts - instead of just saying 'The service was crap', try for example, 'It was about 45 minutes before we were asked if we wanted to order'. This allows the reader to decide for themselves whether this is a good or a bad thing, and more definitively demonstrates how good or bad the service was.
- Do NOT make a claim of "food poisoning" or similar unless you have medical proof, and that proof can link your condition with a particular venue. While a review is an opinion, a claim such as this is a statement of fact, and can be considered to be defamatory if it cannot be proven to be true. If we come across a review that makes such claims, it will be suspended from the system until the claim is withdrawn or proof is sighted by our editorial staff and legal advice is sought on whether we should allow the claim to be published.
- Similar to the above is mentioning rumours of a venue's financial situation, or stating that the venue may be closing soon. Again this is a statement of fact, and if untrue, can cause financial loss to the venue.
- Personal abuse of staff or management of a venue, which can be treated as opinion, is not smart and will not achieve anything except to show the author as being an disreputable source. FoodGod is not a place to air personal grievances and reviews containing personal attacks will be suspended.
Defendants of defamation have 6 years in which to bring a complaint, so even if your review was from last year, it may come back to haunt you in 5 years time. Note that while truth is a valid defence to a defamation action, this has to be proven through legally admissable evidence. Defamation actions take the viewpoint that the allegedly defamatory statement is false, and the onus is on the author to prove its veracity.
Hopefully, this hasn't deterred you from writing negative reviews, but just provided a cautionary note to think about when you've had a bad experience and are feeling a little heated about it. Count to 10, breathe, and think about what you are going to publish.