Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How to be a Reviewer Series

How to Review Restaurants
By Debbie Roome

People love to eat out and restaurant reviews inform them of the type of food and standards they can expect at a certain eating establishment. If you enjoy food, why not try your hand at writing a review and submit it to a local newspaper.

What to Note in a Restaurant Review
A dining out experience is composed of many facets. Here are some of the important ones to look out for:
· Service
· Atmosphere
· Decor
· Ambience
· Crowd
· Lighting
· Seating
· Price
· Music

Take Notes while in the Restaurant
Keep a notebook on hand and jot down thoughts as the meal progresses. There is plenty to observe and notes make the process easier.

Focus on the Food
Don’t forget that the main purpose of a restaurant review is to discuss the food. Make sure you are familiar with the terminology and understand words such as jus and escargots. If assessing a specific type of restaurant such as Italian, Chinese or French, make sure you have a good grasp of the names and types of food and expected preparation. Look for things like freshness, colour, garnishes, quantity and presentation. Avoid generic descriptions like delicious and tasty. Use more specific language such as the meat was spicy with a dash of coriander or the dessert had a delicate almond flavor.

Who are you writing for
This is often determined by the type of restaurant. Is it a fast food place, a diner where students can grab a reasonably priced meal, a vegetarian restaurant or a top French Restaurant?

Don’t Narrate your Experience
People don’t want to read a review that states “I did this” and “I did that”. Rather draw the reader in by recreating the ambience and flavour through words. You can then add in your personal opinion as you go.

Include the Restaurant Details
This is an area sometimes neglected. Give the full name of the restaurant, the address, phone number and website and state their opening hours.

Restaurant reviewing can be a fun way to make a bit of extra money. If you enjoy eating out, try your hand at writing reviews and see what come of it.

Debbie Roome works as a freelance writer from her home in New Zealand. Visit her at Debbie Roome or read some of her work at Suite 101 , Take Root and Write and Faithwriters.

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