Online reputation matters, and it can make or break a business.
Recognising this fact, hoteliers and restaurant owners have grouped together to fight the ‘menace’ of negative reviews by food bloggers.
As per reports coming in, food bloggers will soon be slapped with lawsuit and legal cases, if they post negative reviews, without having an expertise.
Food Bloggers Will Be Sued For Defaming Restaurants
Pune based Hospitality Industry of India has decided to take legal action against those food bloggers who post negative and sensational reviews of food and restaurants, without having a ‘certification’, and without having any experience of cooking and/or gastronomical studies.
Sanee Awsarmmel, who is the chairperson of the Hospitality Industry of India in Pune, claims that there are 500+ food bloggers in the city of Pune.
But only one-fourth of them have any expertise of food to be able to comment or review.
He said, “Only 25 per cent of them are genuine. How can an engineer or an IT professional judge about food? It is like an engineer treating a patient and not a doctor.”
Food bloggers, who are not registered with the national hospitality body, and doesn’t have any certification for the same can also be sued by the hotels in the near future.
As per Sanee, the hotel industry is having a close look at such food bloggers, who intentionally defame restaurants. Legal action will be taken against them now.
He said, “There are people keeping a close watch on bloggers who visit and review restaurants. Legal action would be taken for those defaming restaurants..”
In case the food bloggers lose such legal cases, they can be jailed as well.
Food Bloggers Running Behind Free Perks?
Hotel owners and businesses in the hospitality industry are claiming that people who can write creatively, and can take good photographs become food bloggers, and then post negative reviews to defame restaurants.
If they don’t have any experience in the food industry, how can they write about food, they ask.
Shambhu Sharan, executive chef, Emcure group said, “People claiming to be bloggers have skills to take good photographs and creatively write about the food. But that does not mean that they have knowledge about food, the chemistry behind it and also the gastronomical process,”
He said that such negative reviews and opinions based on half-cooked knowledge (pun intended) lead to loss of reputation for the restaurants.
Often, such self-proclaimed food bloggers demand free perks and incentives from the restaurant owners, which further makes things worse.
Zomato, the company which actually made food reviews, and a critical aspect for all foodies and created the culture of food blogging in India had launched a special project to stop fake reviews of restaurants, in 2016.