Food bloggers beware - you can now be sued for bad reviews
Photo by ANI

According to the Indian Hospitality Association, bloggers that are not recognized by the National Hospitality Body will have a case of defamation filed against them. The association have started scanning the blogger community for bloggers that do not align with their rules.

Sanee Awsarmmel, the chairperson of the Hospitality Industry of India, informed that there are around 500 food bloggers working writing about restaurants in the city. He also stated that the Hospitality industry isn’t against any of the bloggers, but their irresponsible attitude.

He added, “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,”

He also said, “There are people keeping a close watch on bloggers who visit and review restaurants. Legal action would be taken for those defaming restaurants,”. According to him, ‘genuine bloggers’ will be given certificates and recognized officially.

Members of the Hospitality Industry have raised concerns about the growing popularity of food bloggers. They are concerned about the negative effects faced by restaurants because bloggers are writing popular food reviews on social media and delivery platforms.

Shambhu Sharan, the executive chef, Emcure group said that most people writing food reviews have skills to click attractive pictures and creatively write about the food, but lack knowledge on the chemistry behind each dish and the gastronomical process.

He said, “One cannot judge the food based on the presentation and looks. Chefs and experts invest years in learning about food and its facts. But the bloggers writing with little knowledge often mislead people,”

Sharan also talked about how factors like paid reviews or other perks can influence the way a blogger portrays their like or dislike of the food. “In other cases too, if the restaurant is not up to the rating, the customers initially visit but once they realise the reviews were overrated, the restaurant starts suffering and over the course of time often shuts down.”, said Sharan.

“These fake bloggers don’t know any insights about the food. Sometimes it takes three-four hours to make one dish,” said Sanjay S, an industry veteran of 30 years.

Kalyan Karmakar, a food writer, said, “The main issue is that writing a food review is a learning process. A beginner and an experienced person have to go through the process very often as so much are to explore.”

Rushina Ghildiyal, a food blogger and consultant, said, “Bloggers are good influencers but it is a process to evolve. The new generation of bloggers are no experts and would require time to gain it.”

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