Everyone is a critic.
One of my dearest friends is Joanne Kates, the
restaurant critic for The Globe and Mail, the most important newspaper
in Toronto. Joanne carries a credit card with someone else’s name on it
(I promised I wouldn’t say who). Despite her precautions, her picture
is posted in the kitchen of dozens of top restaurants. Why? Because
once a restaurant knows that Joanne is wearing a wig and sitting in the
dining room, the staff can influence the review.
Once a server
knows it’s her, he can make sure the service is perfect, the food is
hot, and the check is calculated properly. Once he knows it’s her, he
can guarantee that the staff will do their best.
guessed the problem with this strategy. The problem is Zagats (and
Chowhound.com, and a thousand other restaurant blogs). There isn’t just
one Joanne Kates in Toronto anymore. Now there are thousands.
You can no longer be on the lookout for Joanne. Now you have to be on the lookout for everyone.