Thursday, April 15, 2021
Home Social Media "How can an engineer judge food?" - Hospitality industry to sue 'non-genuine' bloggers for...

“How can an engineer judge food?” – Hospitality industry to sue ‘non-genuine’ bloggers for defamation. The ‘influenca’ conundrum

Naming and shaming on social media, not just for restaurants but for any brands, has now become a norm and not exception. Instead of raising grievances with the management or customer support, the first instinct is to trash the establishment on social media

If you have spent considerable time on social media, you’d have come across ‘social media influencers’. The ‘influenza’ bug has bit people across platforms and there are ‘political influencers’, ‘make up influencers’, ‘food bloggers’ and people selling just about anything they could, most of the times, for money.

“Influencers” like to feel important by calling themselves one, the way ‘intellectuals’ refer to themselves as one. They introduce themselves as one because otherwise no one would know who they are.

Now, the Hospitality Industry of India has started scanning the food-blogging community to weed out non-genuine reviewers, bloggers and influencers who mislead the public by giving opinions about restaurants. As reported by Mumbai Mirror, the hospitality industry is keeping a close watch over the blogger community to take legal action against those who defame the restaurants. Those food bloggers without certification or recognition from the national hospitality body can now be booked for defamation.

Hospitality Industry of India Chairperson Sanee Awsarmmel says that only 25% of these food bloggers and ‘influencers’ are genuine. “How can an engineer and IT professional judge about food? It is like an an engineer treating a patient and not a doctor,” he reportedly told Mumbai Mirror.

Echoing his sentiments, Shambhu Sharan, Executive Chef of Emcure Group said that most of these influencers are good at taking pictures and writing creatively about food. He said they do not know about the chemistry that goes behind the making of the food. He added that food bloggers write about this with little knowledge about food.

Sharan further alleges that new bloggers write good reviews about restaurants, then take it to other restaurants in a bid to get them to pay them to write for them or for perks. If things go sour between them, the blogger then goes to write bad reviews.

While the engineers can very well review food because you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to judge whether the food is good or not, the fears of the hospitality industry are not completely unfounded.

There is a food-blogger who wrote a really trashy book on the street-foods of India which made me feel bad for the trees that were cut to print it, regularly likes to visit restaurants for free food. He regularly posts pictures of restaurant food which he just got delivered, without putting disclaimers that he didn’t pay for it. Another influencer likes to talk about restaurants in his food column in newspaper he works for so that the restaurants buy ad space!

A newly opened restaurant in Ahmedabad invited bloggers for free pizza, hoping they’d use their influencer power to spread word of mouth. However, the day the meet was organised, genuine paying customers came up, that too in large number that they could not accommodate so many people. They requested bloggers that the meet is postponed and well, bloggers were so offended they trashed the restaurant on social media for being ‘unprofessional’.

Many of these food bloggers are an entitled bunch and would not think twice before either creating a scene in a restaurant or immediately logging on to websites and giving a negative review. Some of these have their own following on social media platforms where they would trash an establishment, most of the times, ‘just because they can’.

Here’s a little story. A bunch of food bloggers were invited at opening of a restaurant. The restaurant had said you’d pay for your own food and give genuine reviews on various platforms as well as to the team. Of course, one of them took an offence at the preposterous idea of having to pay for own food as an ‘influencer’. He created a scene and even called out the restaurant for not ‘paying them’ (over and above free food) to write good review. On the same day, he posted on a Facebook group of foodies how he hates bloggers who charge money for reviews.

Irony just gave itself 5 stars on Zomato.

Social media has given power to people on their fingertips and with this power has come great irresponsibility. Naming and shaming on social media, not just for restaurants but for any brands, has now become a norm and not exception. Instead of raising grievances with the management or customer support, the first instinct is to trash the establishment on social media.

Unfortunately, this is not limited to just food bloggers. A lot of people use it to virtue-signal as well. Recently, a lawyer from Delhi decided to take to Twitter to ‘name and shame’ a restaurant in up-scale Khan Market area of New Delhi because the restaurant did not allow him to take along a ‘poor boy’ who was in the street, to eat with him. To begin with, private restaurants reserve the right to admission and it is up to them whom they choose to allow to dine in. Secondly, instead of raising the issue there, or perhaps taking the child elsewhere where another restaurant would accommodate them, the virtue-signaller chose to just trash this restaurant.

His tweet went viral and got over 2000 retweets and 4000 likes. A lot of similar virtue-signallers decided to boycott this restaurant. Mind well, he is a lawyer and has influential lawyer friends who could have taken the restaurant to court. But what did he choose to do? Trash the restaurant on social media.

While the fear of restaurants is not completely out of place, one really wonders whether taking a legal course of action will help? Unless the ‘influencer’ industry as a whole stops taking free goodies and brands stop giving free stuff to them, a genuine customer should continue to trust no one else but themselves.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Nirwa Mehta
Politically incorrect. Author, Flawed But Fabulous.

Related Articles

Trending now

Hindu leader in Panipat explains why he thought it is necessary to come out in streets in support of Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati

A Muslim mob came face to face with Hindu organisations who carried out a sit-in vigil in support of Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati

Amdavad Municipal Corporation introduces ‘drive through’ RTPCR testing as COVID-19 cases surge in the state

First ever drive-through RTPCR testing centre opened in Ahmedabad, Gujarat as the state battles Chinese coronavirus

UP govt ramps up measures to fight the resurgent COVID-19 outbreak, airlifts 25,000 doses of Remdesivir using govt plane from Gujarat

The Uttar Pradesh government is working on a war-footing to blunt the second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak

One more video of a mob calling for beheading Yati Narsimhanand Saraswati for ‘insulting Prophet Muhammad’ goes viral

Muslims across the country are demanding the beheading of Yati Narsimhanand Saraswati after his comments criticising Islam

Tours and travels operators in Mumbai issuing fake COVID-19 negative reports for Rs 300: Report reveals

As people in Mumbai rush to get out of Maharashtra amidst worsening coronavirus outbreak, travel agents are arranging bogus COVID-negative reports for Rs 300 to Rs 500 to enable their exit.

Maha COVID-19 crisis: Hospital beds and ventilators running short, scarcity in oxygen and Remdesivir supply, and inordinate delays in testing

Maharashtra is in a midst of a resurgent coronavirus outbreak as the state has reported over 60,212 fresh COVID-19 cases on Tuesday

Recently Popular

Pfizer wanted Brazil, Argentina to put military bases, Federal reserve as collateral: Why India kept Pfizer away and how the usual suspects are wrong

Pfizer has been accused of countries in Latin America of pledging their sovereign assets, military bases and financial reserves to protect itself from any adverse fallout of the vaccine

OpIndia Exclusive: Tata Communications suffers data leak, hackers claim to have sold access to company’s servers, over 50GB data still up for sale

As per two posts by hackers on a hackers' forum, they have gained access to Tata Communications servers and sold them.

What happened in Chhabra after Hindu man was stabbed by Muslim men: Call for peace, attack on a Hindu the next day and more

On April 12, the administration extended curfew for one more day at Chhabra, Baran district in Rajasthan after the communal riot

Attempts to draw false equivalence between the Kumbh Mela and Tablighi Jamaat congregation do not make sense: Here’s why

Attempts are being made to draw false equivalences between the Kumbh Mela and the Tablighi Jamaat congregation last year.

It’s a lung… it’s a burnt toast… it’s a duck pic… No! It’s a painting by Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee did not appear in any election rallies or gave any statement regarding the ongoing Assembly elections in West Bengal after Election Commission banned her from campaigning for 24 hours

Mayor Sadiq Khan vows to bring the Indian Premier League to London to boost his reelection chances: Details

London mayor Sadiq Khan promises to bring the Indian Premier League to the British capital as part of his reelection campaign.
- Advertisement -


Connect with us