Article: “Laptop Critics:Where the Web’s Foodies Dish” (Jun.2006)


"When Nell Ingerman recently discovered that her favorite neighborhood restaurant — a Mexican place in Manhattan called Baby Bo's Cantina — had boosted prices and swapped enchiladas for wild salmon, she was outraged. She planned to collect complaints and present them to the manager.

But she didn't have to. The restaurant's owner, Bo Quijano, emailed her and promised to bring the old menu back. He'd read a message she'd posted on a popular foodie Internet Web site called He even posted an apology, confessing that in a good-faith effort to improve the menu, "I simply got carried away."

To the chagrin of some restaurants and professional food critics, a lot of the most influential — and opinionated — advice on where to eat these days comes from Web sites and blogs…"

source: "Laptop Critics:Where the Web's Foodies Dish" by Steve Stecklow (Wall Street Journal, Jun.17,2006)


Article: “How to Use Publicity to Offset Bad Restaurant Reviews”


"Few things can put a restaurant out of business faster than a bad restaurant review. If it happens to you, don’t just complain. Take proactive steps to ensure that the public knows your side of the story.

Here are tips for the hospitality industry on how to offset bad reviews—and make the most of good ones:…"

source: "How to Use Publicity to Offset Bad Restaurant Reviews" by Joan Stewart (

Here are some more links discussing restaurant critics from the perspective of restaurant owners:

"A critic's pen alone does not write off a restaurant" (Boston Business Journal)

"Critiquing Restaurant Critics" (Restaurant Report)

"Critics, restaurateurs discuss fairness of reviews: operators say writers should know food, wine; claim good service can trump culinary mistakes" (Nation's Restaurant News)

Article: “No hard science, but here’s how I review a restaurant” (May 2006)


"There is no hard science about restaurant criticism because it is, without doubt, subjective. After all, I'm just one mouth, not a sample group.

So the criteria I use to evaluate a restaurant aren't exactly quantifiable. My mission isn't to score a restaurant like the College Board scores SATs.

Instead, I try to give a hint about what to expect at a given restaurant, and how high a patron's expectations should reasonably be."

source: "No hard science, but here's how I review a restaurant" by Tucker Shaw (Denver Post, May 31,2006)

This is another article about how a professional restaurant critic goes about reviewing a restaurant. It is a good reminder for restaurant owners. Michael Bauer, critic for SF Chronicle, published a more specific list earlier this month.

Blog: “Questions to ask in evaluating restaurants” (May 2006)

"Reviewing a restaurant is much more than gathering a group of friends, ordering different items on the menu and then telling readers what you liked.

A committed critic has dozens of checkpoints. These help determine the star rating used by The Chronicle. And after the first visit, there are at least two more. Each has to be considered before the final stars are awarded…"

source: "Questions to ask in evaluating restaurants" by Michael Bauer (Between Meals Blog, May 8, 2006) [via Slashfood]

How do restaurant critic's evaluate your restaurant? The long answer is provided by Michael Bauer, critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, on his new blog "Between Meals". The list of questions is worthy of printing out and being used as an operations checklist. Your customers may be using the same questions in evaluating their dining experience, however may not articulate it and just say "poor service".