I’ve never been one to read food critics to find out if a certain restaurant is good or not. I believe you can’t really know whether a certain food, video game, movie or book is good unless you have experienced it yourself. I’m sure there are many people that do read food critics and think highly of their opinion. After all, why would the food critic position exist if nobody read his or her thoughts? Why would restaurants care about food critics if they didn’t have an impact on other people’s choice of restaurant? I think that today a lot of food critics’ reviews can’t be trusted.
Once upon a time food critics were very secretive. Food critics were as stealthy as Jack Bauer. A food critic would go to a restaurant without the restaurant knowing who they were. The food critic would often return a few times because everybody has their bad days and the restaurant would never be the wiser, they would just think the food critic is one of their many return customers. The food critic would decide whether they liked the food or not, write up a review about it, and the restaurant wouldn’t even realize who the food critic was.
It’s not exactly the same anymore though. Some food critics are very open about who they are. Many food critics now will take advantage of their position. If a restaurant knows that you’re a famous food critic then they are obviously going to get special treatment. If you have the power to get great service and be sure to get a good meal then who wouldn’t take advantage of that?
Other food critics are no longer secretive not because they like to flaunt their power but their identity is known simply because in this day and age almost any person that is somewhat famous can be found on the internet. A lot of food critics have their own website or are a part of another website where their picture can be found. If a restaurant can find a picture of the local food critic then they can identify them when they arrive and be sure they get good service.
So can we really take a food critic’s opinion? In most cases restaurants are going to know food critics. When the restaurant sees that food critic is there the restaurant is going to make sure to give them the best service possible and make sure their food is cooked as perfectly as possible. When a food critic gives his opinions on a meal it is likely going to be the best meal and service possible. But when you or me go to this same restaurant we are probably not going to get the same meal or the same service and the experience is not going to be as good.
As I said before I don’t believe we should listen to food critics to begin with. But when you think about how few food critics are actually still secretive it’s just another reason not to pay attention to food critics. If you want to know whether a restaurant is good or not then go there and try their food. That is the only way to know whether a restaurant is really good or not.