Melanie and I believe in full transparency when it comes to our reviews. We pay for our own meals. We never accept free meals except at foodie related events. We shy away from media events that we are invited to, but rarely we do attend. When we do attend such an event, we make it very clear within the article the terms of the event.
We never give a restaurant advance notice of our visit. We never introduce ourselves prior to the meal. On very rare occasions, we introduce ourselves to the manager on duty or the owner as we are leaving. This is only for two reasons – if it went really well, or it went really bad. The reason we do this, is because we don’t want people to get the idea that we’re scared and hiding behind a keyboard cloaked in anonymity. I have no problem in telling a restauranteur right to their face what’s good or bad about their establishment. We think they deserve the right to be able to respond to the facts I present before we post the review for the world to read. I think you can tell in most of my reviews, we try to present a balanced view of our experience and not weigh any one incident, staff member or dish too heavily so that it takes precedence over the entire review.
When we sign the check, we leave an Atlanta Food Critic business card with the signed copy of the bill. The card simply tells them that they’ve been visited by Atlanta Food Critic and to expect their review to be posted within the next few days. I maintain receipts of each meal, and the corresponding tip, in my office should a question ever arise.
We do accept advertising on the website but have blackout restrictions on reviewing restaurants that advertise with us. We do not accept advertising from any restaurant which we have published a review within the last six month. Current advertisers are ineligible to have their restaurant reviewed. Upon termination of their advertising, we wait twelve months before the restaurant become eligible to be reviewed.
I do not own, nor am I an investor in any restaurant venture. We’re just diners who enjoy great food and good service and want to share our table with you, our readers. Guten appetit!
Melanie & Randy Cooper