Archive for category Pie Hole
I used my last Pie Hole entry as an opportunity to blast Little Rock eateries for their lack of social media use as it pertains to growing business and reaching an audience. It was a broad, brushstroke criticism, as I chose not to single out specific restaurants. Truthfully, there were just too many establishments to criticize and I often like to keep things short and sweet.
Over the past few months since the piece, that word “criticism” has been stuck in my brain. The more and more I read…the more I realize there’s a large population in Little Rock that just doesn’t like any form of criticism, as it pertains to food.
There’s almost this “how dare you” mentality going on, not only from readers and commenters, but also from restaurants and food shop owners. Does this sound familiar?: “I’ve been going to X restaurant for 12 years and they’ve never made a bad pasta primavera.”
Look….there’s only a handful of individuals in this town who even write about food on a regular basis. Do you really think they are trying to tear down a business through negative words? Think again—it’s really just the opposite.
I get it, a person’s business is their livelihood, their dream, their everything. Writing negative things about it should never be taken lightly. Posts can quickly go viral, and a writer would never want to maliciously hurt someone’s business. But without some constructive criticism from time-to-time, how can things improve?
Don’t we want to raise the culinary bar in Little Rock? How can this be done if everything is already perfect? As writers, it’s our responsibility to highlight the good but also mention the bad. Maybe, just maybe, a restaurant owner will read our review and think: “Hey, they might be right. Maybe I do need to change this up a bit.” This could potentially lead to more customers and higher profits.
As a blogger, I’m somewhat of a business owner. Sure, I don’t make any money from The Mighty Rib, but I maintain this site as if it was bringing in the dough. That’s to say I care about it…tremendously. And if someone wrote negative comments about an aspect of my writing, of course I’d take it personally and be disappointed, but I’d also certainly take it to heart.
What if they’re right? Shouldn’t I first look at it from their critical perspective? Instead of saying “how dare you” maybe I should say “how can I get better?” What if I chose to build off the criticism, rather than let it tear me down? Heck, I could potentially end up with more readers, more comments, and an overall stronger blog.
Little Rock, it’s time to take the high road when it comes to accepting criticism. It could lead to great things.
Do you follow The Pantry on Twitter and Facebook? I do. While scrolling through my FB feed a few weeks back, I noticed an announcement/picture for a private event pig roast at the restaurant. A big, beautiful roasted pig’s head was right there, front and center, on my computer monitor.
This prompted me to contact The Pantry’s owner. Within days we had coordinated a private party pig roast to be held in early January for 15-20 of my friends.
Why do I mention all of this?
Because just one picture on FB caused a chain reaction of events that will inevitably lead to a few hundred dollars going to The Pantry’s way. One post, one customer…hundreds of bucks. Think about that for a second.
It was instant gratification for me (the customer) and future bucks for them (the restaurant).
Apparently, The Pantry is in the minority of Little Rock eateries which understand the potentially positive impact on a business’ bottom line with the proper utilization of social media. It is hard to find a local restaurant that has a modern website and active Twitter and Facebook accounts.
This dumbfounds me.
Essentially, social media is not only free advertising (which helps build name recognition), but is also a tool to immediately reach and respond to your audience. What restaurant wouldn’t want that? Customers now expect the entire interactive package from dining establishments, yet most Little Rock restauranteurs continue to live in the Dark Ages of outdated websites and lackluster social media interaction. What better way to entice customers than with a daily tweet or status update about the chef’s special or the latest cocktail creation? For the emerging food truck business, how convenient would it be for patrons to realize that you happen to be stationed just down the street from their office desk today?
Is it a time issue? Maybe. Maintaining proper Twitter and Facebook accounts take time…time that could be going to other areas of the business.
Is it a cost issue? Maybe. In big cities like Houston and Boston (where I’ve lived), you’ll often find marketing firms running the social media show for restaurants. In Little Rock, this probably isn’t the case.
The bottom line: there are no excuses. Little Rock restaurants need to find the time and means to make social media a top priority. It’s just good business.
Little Rock is ready to take that next step in becoming a legitimate food town, but progress will be severely limited if our local restaurants continue to view social media as a burden rather than a platform to reach the public. That would be a shame. We’ve got some amazing folks doing some outstanding things with food. I just wish more of us knew about it.
Until then, the people who are unaware of these mom and pop places will continue to fill those Olive Garden parking lots.
First things first, read this entire piece.
Interesting…to say the least. Anomnomnomoynous lays out a nice laundry list of food blogger/blogging offenses.
So, for this Pie Hole, I decided to examine each of Anomnomnomoynous’ bold print points and give my opinion on his/her opinion. Are you with me? Good. Let’s get started.
But buyer beware; not all are created equally and most cannot be trusted. Most of them don’t even like food, I’m convinced.
True, all aren’t created equally. But doesn’t that go for just about everything in life? As far as “most cannot be trusted”, that’s a little extreme. I’d change “most” to “some”. And to write that most don’t even like food is just ridiculous. Personally, food is right up there with family, friends, and health…in no particular order.
Really, you have a book deal and you used boxed prepared risotto and write about iced coffee four times a week? For shame.
I don’t know many bloggers who have book deals. Strike that, I don’t know any bloggers who have book deals. And I sure don’t know many who “want some accreditation”. Most are just looking for an outlet to express their thoughts and to further a passion or hobby. And yes, some blogs have the same mundane comments from a group of friends…but who cares? There are cliques in every walk of life. Get used to it. My guess is that Anomnomnomoynous is a he, not a she. Attention my man….food blogging is comprised overwhelmingly of females. Maybe you are feeling lonely and on an island. Two words for you…tough shit!
Me, I eat with my stomach, food should look good enough to eat, but if it tastes like crap, what’s the point?
Agreed–the taste of food is more important than the presentation, but if a blogger wants to entice the audience, the pictures need to be good.
Now, I’ll also address his/her point about 98% of meals being free. That’s wrong. If I walked into a restaurant, stated I was a food blogger, and demanded my meal be comped…I’d promptly be told to get the fuck out, and to take my shitty ass blog with me. The free meals are generally planned group events….you know, the ones where we are PR pawns. PS…I had a free meal tonight at a media tasting dinner in Salem that cost me $60. How? ($10-gas, $40-babysitter, $10 -restaurant tip)
Guess what? No one cares how often you post, if you have to complain about how hard it is to write something with frequency, or all the free events you “have” to attend, you’re missing the point entirely.
Them fighin’ words. That one just hits a little close to home. I post six times a week. And there are plenty of people who care that I post so often…my wife, my best friend from college, an old girlfriend…I could go at least 10 people deep. Don’t make me, I will.
Shelling out $150 to attend a blogger conference will not improve your writing or your blog, it will just make you $150 poorer.
Agreed. I spent $175 on a conference when I moved to Boston about 4 months ago. Biggest waste of money ever! I remember one panelist saying how important it was to write with a voice. Really!?! No fucking shit! I walked out after two hours…$175 be damned!
In summation…are a few of Anomnomnomoynous’ points accurate? Yes. But for the most part, they are generalizations written by what seems to be a fairly agitated person. And worst of all, a nameless, fairly agitated person.
My name’s Kevin Shalin. Please Anomnomnomoynous, feel free to shoot me an email, and maybe we could set up a lunch. My treat!
Syd Kearney was one of many to report on the big El Rey/El Real flub by Esquire. The magazine meant El Real, but it does beg the question…which place is better, El Rey or El Real? I was only at El Real in the beginning, but I’d say it’s a tie.
You will need to look long and far to find a better food post than this one. Anamaris Cousins Price nails it with her take on how to prepare clams and mussels. It’s pure genius—smart, funny, creative, and informative. Many kudos for an amazing post!
Of the last 10 posts from Eating Our Words, three are Top 5’s. I think that’s like 30%.
Back to Syd…nice list. If I were still in Houston, I’d partake in some of these.
I wish The Ferm would write a little more often. Hell, I’ve begged him to write for this blog. Instead, we must settle on once-a-month posts that include this horse shit.
Hey Anamaris, I found a great recipe for your mussels.
Speaking of recipes, this is a good reference article for the upcoming holidays. With folks coming over, it’s always important to have a few appetizer recipes in the arsenal.