I am new to the whole blogging world and am still very much trying to learn internet etiquette and my blogger identity. One thing I felt very passionate about blogging from the start were restaurant reviews: my husband and I are foodies to the max and enjoy eating out and are always trying someplace new. We like to keep up on the local ‘latest and greatest’ just for our own personal fun, so my thought was that I could blog about awesome new restaurants as we add them to our restauranteur repertoire!
To come up with new material I would pick a place for my husband and I to visit on date night and would blog about our experience afterwards. Not good for our waistline I am sure, but nevertheless fun to both experience and reflect upon later as I write my review. Up until this past weekend, all I had to say were good things. Honestly, I understand how important digital reviews are to a company’s livelihood, so my intent had only ever been to share good content to promote local businesses who deserve a quick second in the spotlight, even though the spotlight I have to provide at the moment is quite tiny 🙂
BUT, the other night I had family visiting and picked out a place to dine out with the intent to blog about it afterwards, and was unfortunately extremely let down for the first time. I had come into someone’s restaurant with the intent to give them free publicity, but instead left with a fussy toddler and family that was underwhelmed by their experience visiting the city.
Where I used to just chalk this up to a bad night out, this seemed to stick with me a little more. Perhaps it is because I came in and spent money hoping to get some content for my new little business I am working on, and on top of leaving hungry and annoyed, I also left without anything to write about!
So this question is to other food and restaurant bloggers. And even lifestyle bloggers too. What do you feel good blogging etiquette is, in this instance? Would you still write your restaurant review and be honest about the experience, or is that just bad business karma to give a bad review on your blog? I am sure I could come up with some positives to say: good things about the ambiance, the good beer my husband tried, etc., but if I wrote about it I feel at some point I would have to be honest about the bad parts too. I don’t think I would be so hard on this place if it were our first time visiting, but this was our 3rd or 4th and it has been quite the same every time, which I find disappointing for how trendy the place should be.
I am not trying to be a hater. Just looking for some open, honest conversation from one blogger to another. Any input you have is welcome!